The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is about a woman who struggling with her inner self. Her husband John who is a doctor believed she only had a “temporary nervous depression” and the cure for it was “rest cure” (Gilman). He isolated her from everyone including the real world maybe because of her mental state and what would the people think or say about her. They had to pretend to live the perfect life in front of others while she suffered in silence. She was taken to a house for the summer that she described as “It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village.” She was taken to a place isolated and far from her family and friends. She had a baby that she could not care for. By doing this her condition would only worsen instead of getting better. Mental illness can affect anyone. There are many types of mental illness. “Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotions or behavior (or a combination of these)” ( Parekh ). Mental illness is a difficult illness to comprehend especially in the 19th century when there was not much research done for these type of diseases. The doctors did not have enough knowledge about how to properly treat people with mental disorders during that time. People do not comprehend mental illness because they are uninformed about the illness and they do not know the signs and symptoms to look for. Back then it was believed that the remedy for mental illness was, “Rest and diet were popularly recommended cures for less severe cases” (Graham). This was also the mentality John had about curing mental illness. “He said we came here solely on my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get....


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Towards the end of the story the narrator finally sees herself as the woman trapped behind the wallpaper. At that moment is when she realizes how women are really treated in the real world. She finally realizes that the woman trap in the wallpaper is a symbolization of her life because she felt trapped in her life. She was unhappy with her life. In order for her to be free she decides to tear the wallpaper down. While she was tearing the wallpaper down she described what she saw “All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!” (Gilman) Everything that she was seeing in the wallpaper would make her feel more angry and she would continue tearing it down. By tearing the wallpaper down she was releasing her anger and it gave her a sense of being free and not being trapped anymore and her mental state was getting better.

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