Aftereffects In The Yellow Wallpaper

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In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman used her personal experiences to write a story about a woman losing her sanity because of the rest cure. This “cure” was a widely trusted medical treatment at the time and the truths behind it were unknown to the general public. As Calum A. Kerr writes in the essay, “Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’," the aftereffects of the rest cure deeply disturbed Gilman and took her to a place that she may have otherwise never reached. It was stated that, “Afterwards she blamed the cure for the development of the depressive illness which plagued her for the rest of her life and which likely contributed to her death by suicide in 1935.” (Kerr). Just …show more content…
The woman in this story went in to extensive detail about the paper and by the end of the story even the smell of it and the exact shade of color was known. The more the story developed the more intrinsic the pattern on the wallpaper seemed to get. At first she stated, “I’ve never seen a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper” 474). It seemed like a normal comment and further implicated that when she began the rest cure she was saner than when she ended it. Later in the story she became very possessive of the wallpaper. She wanted to be the only one to figure out its pattern and went as far as to state, “But I am here, and no person touches this paper but me- not …show more content…
She took it in to her own hands to free her. In his essay, “Environment as Psychopathological Symbolism in 'The Yellow Wallpaper.’”, Loralee states that “The rescue of that woman becomes her one object, and the wallpaper becomes at once the symbol of her confinement and of her freedom.” (MacPike). The pattern not only symbolized her losing her sanity but also how entrapped she was. The barred windows and her limits of who she can see were physical restraints, but she was also mentally held captive. Her husband took away everything from her including her writing and she felt like she was trapped in her own mind. The woman in the story subconsciously knew that she was being held captive and because of this created a woman being held captive behind the

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