Taking A Look At Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Women are complicated. This statement has crossed every man’s mind and has been mutually accepted by both genders because it’s true; women are complicated, emotionally and physically. But, this simple fact was once used to justify a dark reality. In the history of mental illness, women’s complicated mental and biological nature was seen as a disability and resulted in mistreatment and abuse. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” captures this abuse and creates a vivid description of it from the eyes of an unidentified woman. The significance of this story lies not only in it’s unique literary technique but, in it’s unsettling passages that reveal the truth of what it was like to be a woman with mental illness in the 19th century. …show more content…
The author purposely wrote a suicide at the end of her short story to enact the “shock factor” and bring awareness to the issue. For many years, the rest cure was considered to be a prominent solution to a poorly researched problem. Perkins admitted that the purpose of the short story was to illustrate what did happen to her but, what could have happen to her (Lavender). After she wrote it, she sent it to Dr. Mitchell in an effort to stop him and his treatments. Years later he admitted to his friends that he altered his regimens in order to avoid these results. What could perhaps be considered the most crucial and significant objective was to give a voice to women dealing with mental illness. She left the character as an unnamed woman so that any woman could be put in her place. This could be and has been a person’s mother, sister, daughter or aunt. Her words and concepts illustrated that patients were still people and should be treated as such. “The Yellow Wallpaper” sheds light on a once dark and bleak topic. By creating a discussion piece about women’s mental health, Gilman has enabled a change in perspective when looking at women, postpartum depression and mental illness in general. She humanizes the victims and constructs her own character to be more than just a crazy broad. The author does an exceptional job at illustrating the internal struggle that a patient goes through. By providing a dramatic ending, she has successfully prevented more acts of mental abuse from taking place and created a better understanding of the woman

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