Nervous Disorders In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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An author and critic, William Dean Howells became a fan of Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The short story describes the treatment of a women during rest cure prescribed for nervous disorders relevant to Gilman’s experiences. To Howells’s liking, he decided to send the story to his friend Horace E. Scudder, for publication in The Atlantic Monthly in 1875 (U.S. National Library of Medicine). However, Scudder rejected Gilman’s writing completely. Alternatively, the short story was published a year after it was written in The New England Magazine, in January 1892. Readers of the story were shocked, disturbed and captivated. The editor received a letter from one of the readers describing the writing as “sensational and morbidly fascinating, and questioned if such literature should even be permitted in print” (U.S. National Library of Medicine). Gilman does not only illustrate the treatment of women with nervous disorders but also includes the themes of madness and insanity relating to the patriarchal society. Gilman argued that the story was “beneficial not dangerous, and suggested the letter was written by a physician who only criticized the tale because of its negative representation of the medical profession”(U.S. National Library of Medicine). In addition, she explained herself and answered the …show more content…
Gilman uses the narrator to reveal the complications and trouble of gender roles and their forced aspect. Also, she highlights the way women were treated and controlled by men. She uses the themes of madness and insanity to illustrate how horrible the treatment of the mental illness is. Through Gilman’s fictional work, she describes an issue that women go through, including herself. In conclusion, her work warns women about gender roles and the negative impacts it implies upon women’s

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