Essay On Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

1142 Words 5 Pages
Writing often reflects an author’s own experiences. In her short story, “The Yellow
Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman does this by showing the shortcomings of Dr. Silas Weir
Mitchell’s rest treatment through Jane, the narrator of the story. She reveals how this treatment leads to mental deterioration and eventual insanity. Gilman further reinforces this idea through her response to her short story, titled “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’” which gives evidence that Gilman uses the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” to reflect her own debilitating state caused by the rest treatment and postpartum depression.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman uses the narrator of the story, Jane, to show the effects of Dr. Mitchell’s rest treatment on her
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In a final lapse of insanity, she fully releases herself from her husband’s control, noting, “I had to creep over him every time” after he faints from seeing her slither around the room. In a similar manner, Gilman releases her own husband to escape the imminent insanity about to ensnare her life. In the preface to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the writer mentions that Gilman
“improved only after she… divorced her husband” (232). Only with a divorce does Gilman improve, showing the negative impact of the men in her life. Despite her clear message sent in her short story, many people were baffled after reading it.
Responding to bewildered readers across the United States of America, Gilman gives an account of her personal experience with the rest treatment in “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow
Wallpaper.” To show the connection between her and her story, she states, “For many years [she] suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia” for which a doctor “put [her] to bed and applied the rest cure,” advising her to “‘live a domestic life as far as possible’” (245). Immediately, the doctor demands that she relinquishes her intellectual

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