The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her personal life to create a fictional narrative about the treatment of women in late 1800’s, mental illnesses in the 1800’s along with how far the human mind can go before it snaps. Why does Charlotte Perkins Gilman expose her life through the lines of her story? She wrote this story to show how the yellow wallpaper itself represents the isolation of women. Gilman displays this by indirectly stating a women’s position in marriage and how the gender roles leave them in a child like state that prevents women from developing. The protagonist is constantly alone and forbidden by husband and doctor to leave. The lack of activities to help pass times causes the narrator …show more content…
She describes her husband as a father figure and “he is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction,” (Gilman, 656). However, her mental state and easygoing nature may be clouding her perception. It is easy for Gilman’s readers to see why the narrator describes her husband like a father because he treats her like a child. Two examples of this is when her husband, John, says, “What is it, little girl?” and “Bless her little heart; she shall be as sick as she pleases,” (Gilman, 661). By using the world little, this derogate the narrator’s integrity of being a woman. In addition, by saying “she shall be as sick as she pleases” shows how a child sometimes makes up and self diagnoses their sicknesses to get out of certain situations. This statement then leads him to diagnose his wife with temporary nervous depression. Her husband fails to care about the opinion of his patient when she begs him on numerous occasions to visit relative and by being able to write freely in her journal. John doesn’t want her to write stories because he thinks it may have an influence on her depression, however this is the only way that the narrator can express and reflect herself. John refuses to listen to his wife’s pleas and suggestions for her treatment. He favors the advice of male doctors and own opinions rather those from his wife. This is where John should have drawn the line between being a doctor and being a husband to actually listen to his wife’s suggestions. Shelly Green’s book, "Women 's Encounters With The Mental Health Establishment: Escaping The Yellow Wallpaper” “highlights the patriarchal structure of most mental health institutions and practices, and describes how clinicians continue to apply male-derived diagnoses and treatments while ignoring the reality of women’s experiences”, (Green). The narrator’s childlike treatment and her husband’s incorrect

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