The Yellow Wallpaper Postpartum Depression Analysis
The woman states, “And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me nervous” to point out how she is kept away from her baby perhaps due to her illness (748). This key detail suggests a plausible cause behind the woman’s depression as being postpartum depression. The woman could very likely be deteriorating from the simple fact of being told she is not capable of taking care of her newborn baby. In the 1800s postpartum depression was unheard of, and people were unaware of the symptoms or treatment for it so they simply categorized it as depression or anxiety. As the narrator completely drowns herself into the mystery behind the yellow wallpaper, she begins to isolate herself from the rest of the world. This becomes a turning point for her sanity. Gilman describes each detail about the yellow wallpaper very carefully by stating, “Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd unblinking eyes are everywhere” which allows the reader wonder what the figure must be (749).
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She begins thinking to the extreme by mentioning, “I thought seriously of burning the house — to reach the smell” which signifies she has lost her sense of practical thinking at this point (753). The reader can clearly see the vast difference in the character from the beginning of the story to the end. She is no longer a caring wife enjoying the scenery of the colonial estate, but rather on the verge of her own destruction. This type of descending storyline makes the reader wonder what the outcome could be, and creates a mystery waiting to be solved by grasping the reader’s attention into the story even