Theme Of Psychological Realism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman describes the mental state of the main character, “the narrator”, through the narrator’s personal journal. In this short story, the narrator is a young new mother married to her husband who works as a doctor. She admits in her journal that her husband does not believe that she is sick and that may be the reason that she is not healing faster (467). During the late 1800’s, doctors did not have a good understanding of mental illness. It was very typical that they would send patients away for rest in isolation. As a wife in the late 1800’s, that narrator often questions her husbands treatment plan, but believes that she must submit to him because he is a high standing physician, as well as, her husband. I believe Gilman has used psychological realism to help readers develop a more accepting perception of individuals suffering with mental illness.
I believe that the narrator’s husband attributes making the narrator’s mental state worse. She does not believe that he thinks she is actually ill. The narrator states, “John is a physician, and perhaps (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)
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My aunt suffers with bipolar disorder and often has episodes similar to the narrator in this story. It is very easy for me to get frustrated with her for acting crazy because I never actually understood what was going on in her head. Gilman has provided me a source to get inside a mentally ill mind and understand what is going through their head. After reading this short story, I have developed a greater sense of empathy and patients toward my aunt and others. I have also realized that not believing in mental illness is very ignorant and could possibly add more stress on the person suffering with mental

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