Moral Conflict In The Yellow Wallpaper

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In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-paper”, the reader is presented with many conflicts. One could describe those conflicts as being labeled as a great many things; some of which include emotional, physical and moral conflicts. The narrator, whose name we are never given, gives her account of the summer following the birth of her child and the temporary move to a secluded mansion. While the reader is never given an exact diagnosis other than nervousness of the narrator, the story is noted as being one of the first written accounts of postpartum depression. The narrator’s husband and brother are both prominent physicians of their time; however, the narrator disagrees with their diagnosis, struggles internally with her inability to …show more content…
The narrator struggles internally with the assumption that the way she feels is a figment of her imagination and not that of a serious condition. The narrator wishes to become her old self again; however, she is unable due to the lack of proper medical care. It is hard to argue of one’s thoughts and opinions on a matter when those thoughts and opinions are completely disregarded. The narrator is aware of what she requires to begin a healing process, but due to her husband’s status and credibility, forbidden almost to speak of her ideas or needs to become well again. Paula Treichler wrote an essay titled "The Wall behind the Yellow Wallpaper: Response to Carol Neely and Karen Ford." in which she argues the following: “This politicized regression through which the narrator endeavors to liberate the women of the wall-paper allows her to work through a conflict not previously visualized because of its unacceptability to consciousness.” (Treichler). In other words, the narrator acts in a manner in which she perceives to be helping others. Due to her medical condition, she is attempting to cope with her illness in a way that the reader perceives as delusional and crazy. Society, as well as the narrator’s husband, has refused to believe in the idea of a woman suffering from depression. This lack of acceptance then leads the narrator to feel as though she must “free” the woman behind the wallpaper by ripping the wallpaper from the walls. If the moral conflict of the story had been addressed, the narrator would not have progressed in the manner of which she did at the end of the

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