Yellow Wallpaper Madness

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…
She continued to discreetly write in it, though, because she strongly believed that the writing did her good. This is proven in the story when she writes, “Personally I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good” (Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper” 473). When put in to perspective and thought about logically, the narrator has a point. When the mind is given the opportunity to wander it tends to be healthier for ones being. There is a strong possibility that if a limit were not put upon her, her situation may never have reached such a distraught level. Despite her good judgement, she was forced to hide her journal because her husband and primary physician, John, told her he did not want her writing at all. When she heard him coming to her room while she was writing there was a clear interruption such as, “There comes John, and I must put this away- he hates to have me write a word” (474). At the time that this story was written it was not uncommon for women to be controlled by their husband. Her actions and willingness to oblige to his every demand were not unheard of and, in a way, a husband was more or less expected to demand his wife. Although this story was not intended to be strongly feminist, this is one of the small hints that shows that she was not in control of herself and that maybe if she …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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