The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1441 Words Mar 15th, 2015 null Page
The Yellow Wallpaper was Charlotte Perkins Gliman 's reaction to the rest cure that psychiatrist Silas Weir Mitchell had prescribed to her when she became depressed after the birth of her first child. Gilman believed that the cure had not only been ineffective, but had caused her depression to worsen. Gilman wrote the story to challenge Dr. Mitchell to alter his treatment of neurasthenia. Charlotte Perkins Gilman used symbolism within the yellow wallpaper to challenge the effects that the treatment for neurasthenia was having on women. Charlotte Perkins Gilman makes the setting in which the narrator lives symbolic of the oppression of women who were prescribed the rest cure for hysteria in the 1800 's in order to challenge the efficiency of the rest cure for women diagnosed with neurasthenia.
When Gilman was asked why she wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, she stated that “it was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy”. Gilman used symbols in the setting such as the bars on the bedroom window, the nursery and the wallpaper in order to present the ways in which the rest cure had negative mental repercussions on the women who were prescribed it. Traditionally in literature, windows are representative of freedom and possibility. Instead, Gilman uses the window as a symbol of the oppression that the diagnosis of hysteria has placed on the narrators life. The narrator in the story describes the room in which she stays as having the windows…

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