Ten Days In A Madhouse And The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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Throughout much of the history of medicine in the United States women have been marginalized, whether as patients or as practitioners of medicine themselves. Journalist Nellie Bly and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman are no strangers to this alienation as their works “Ten Days in a Madhouse” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” critique the treatment of women and female mental health patients in the male dominated medical establishment. These works expose how doctors, specifically male as during this time there were little to no female doctors, used intimidation and authority in the maltreatment of their patients, proving that even in the medical world women could not escape the patriarchal oppression that desired only to deprive them of intellectual …show more content…
The simplicity of her actions and its success in causing her to be transported to Blackwell’s Island shows the the severe misogyny present in the medical world in the nineteenth century as doctors routinely diagnosed women that showed any falter in mental stability as hysterical and thus, insane. Fortunately for Bly, this trivialization of women’s mental capacity allows for her to become another one of the “so-called crazy women” (Bly 52) many of whom were foreign and could simply not communicate with the doctors to prove their sanity or had become depressed after a traumatic event or nervous breakdown. The haphazard attention placed on the patients by the doctors, such as that of Dr. Kinier who Paid More Attention to the Nurse Than to His Patient and continually flirted with the German nurse as he “seemed to find pleasure in aiding her” (Bly 55) rather than aiding his patient not only shows medical professional’s lack of consideration for what a patient’s true mental state was but how female nurses were not taken seriously as the doctor enforces dominance over her through his excessive …show more content…
Furthermore, the landscape of the house only emphasises the narrator’s confinement and how she has no means of escape. Yet, the most harrowing feature of this narrative is that John is a “physician of high standing”. This emphasizes his dominance over her as his history as a physician and one who is presumably praised in their field, alluded by the description of him being “of high standing” causes one to trust his diagnosis that his wife’s creativity must be suppressed in order to cure her emotional instability. Gilman use of trust by John’s wife shows her inferiority to men and this oppressive doctrine should not be accepted just because it is enforced by doctors because it in reality highlights a power imbalance that is solely placed on gender. Her criticism that “in [her] condition if

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