Charlotte Gilman Influences

1263 Words 6 Pages
Most literary works are shaped primarily upon the personal experiences of the author and are written as a result of important insights that the author deems important to share. Throughout various time periods in this nation’s history, there have been many social variations that have altered the values of this country. Often these eras spark great controversy and literary criticism. That said, the author of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was greatly influenced by her personal experiences with postpartum depression, isolation and the domination of men over her life in the midst of the women’s movement of the 1800s; experiences that drove the plot of her story. Within the biography written by Ann Lane, she summarizes Gilman’s …show more content…
A highly self-educated woman, Gilman learned to read by age five; despite the lack of affection she received from both her parents, she consulted with her father on literature he deemed worthy that she read (Wladaver). Focusing on a variety of topics, Gilman gained a broad knowledge and made it her mission to share such knowledge with others. After her marriage in 1884 and the birth of her daughter, she spiraled into a crippling depression; the treatment she received was inspiration for her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Wladaver). “Superficially, it describes a woman’s descent into madness during a medical treatment resembling Mitchell’s rest cure. More profoundly, the story depicts the disastrous effects on women of stifled sexual and verbal expression, enforced passivity, and externally imposed roles” (Wladaver). Her condition improved however, after an extended stay away from her husband and child. Upon return, she concluded her family had almost caused her insanity, and demanded a divorce from her husband. As a result of her experiences and knowledge, “She used her life as material for her writings, drawing on the powerful emotions her experiences bequeathed. Although she considered herself a rationalist, her best work often derived its energy from her unacknowledged anger toward

Related Documents