Postpartum Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman illustrates the problems with postpartum depression during the year of 1892. Gilman suffered from this condition along with the narrator of her story. As the story progresses the narrators condition worsens; “As she spends more and more time alone in the bedroom with the vile yellow wallpaper, she becomes first depressed and then paranoid, delusional, and violent” (Sledge 445). The “rest cure” was a very popular treatment during this time period for mental illness, but in the narrators case, it made her condition worse. John, the narrators husband, is a physician who is the main reason she does not get healthy. John causes his wife’s condition to worsen, because of his controlling actions towards her. John treats his wife like a child which worsens her condition. The narrator gives an example of this when she writes in her journal: “And dear John gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed, and sat by me and read to me till it tired my head” (Gilman 654). His actions cause her to feel like a child. John act as if he loves and cares about her so much but in reality he is controlling. John’s wife says, “John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith . . .” (Gilman 649). The narrator …show more content…
John treats his wife like a child, ignores her, and prescribes her with an inaccurate rest cure. According to The Mayo Clinic, “There is no single cause of postpartum depression. Physical, emotional and lifestyle factors may all play a role” (web). Despite this, the main cause of the narrators downfall is her husband. She is much more sick at the end of the story, but this could be normal. The Mayo Clinic also says, “Treatment and recovery time vary, depending on the severity of your depression and your individual need” (web). John should take full responsibility on his wife’s

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