The Yellow Wallpaper Postpartum Depression Analysis

998 Words 4 Pages
When one reads a short story like “The Yellow Wallpaper” they tend to categorize it as a horror story, but it actually is a story about a women’s plea to convey her thoughts and feelings rather than being told to keep it all in. As a result, she begins to write her feelings down in a secret journal which she hides from her husband and caretaker in fear of their disapproval. The journal becomes the woman’s outlet to express herself. I strongly believe if she was given an opportunity to write down her thoughts and feelings on a day to day basis without having to hide them from the world, she would have a faster recovery from depression. As Charlotte Perkins Gilman takes the reader on this journey she begins to unveil different aspects about the …show more content…
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

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