The Rest Cure, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

2183 Words 9 Pages
At the beginning of time, women were made from men. God, the creator of the earth, took a rib from Adam to create Eve. Since then, men have taken the superior role in the relationship. They have often controlled women in every aspect of life. In some cases, this pushes women to the edge, causing them to suffer from depression, which some used to call madness. These women were usually treated using what was called the “rest cure.” During this treatment plan, they were taken out of their normal living arrangements and placed somewhere without human interaction and freedom to engage in activities. The rest cure was invented to free the women from their depression, but ultimately made their depression worse. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a story …show more content…
Gilman and her brother were raised by their mother due to their father abandoning the family. Gilman went to school in Hartford, Connecticut, and later in life became an artist (Bloom 126-127). After the birth of her daughter, Gilman had a breakdown; what we call post-natal depression today (Kerr 1). She divorced her husband, Charles Stetson, after an unhappy marriage in which she was depressed, and left her daughter in his care (“Gilman, Charlotte Perkins” 400). In 1887, Gilman’s depression was treated in a Philadelphia sanatorium using Silas Weir Mitchells rest cure, but it was very harmless and unsuccessful (Hudock 1). The cure she was treated with depressed her even more, stripped her of all her joy in life, and followed her for years to come. Calum A. Kerr says, “[a]fterwards she blamed the cure for the development for the depressive illness which plagued her for the rest of her life and which likely contributed to her life death by suicide in 1935” (1). The breakdown she experienced affected the rest of her life in both a negative and a positive way. It affected her family and how she lived the rest of her life. On the other hand, it made her into the person she was. She overcame her struggles which shaped her into a strong woman. She was a well-known writer and fought for her beliefs. When explaining Gilman’s style, Amy E. Hudock states, “Charlotte Perkins Gilman used her personal bout with postpartum depression to

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