Yellow Wallpaper Theme

Decent Essays
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gillman. The story differed from other stories written in the 1892. It was written by a woman and focused on women’s issues, such as childbirth and mental health issues like post-partum depression. It is a sad story about a woman who slowly loses her mind after having a baby and suffering from severe post-partum depression. No one understands her mental illness and cannot help her. She is very alone, and not even her husband understands her. No one tries to assist her. Instead they just tell her she is fine and dismiss her concerns. Over the course of several weeks the slowly goes completely mad. There are several themes explored in the story, including loneliness, depression, …show more content…
She asks herself similar questions repeatedly. She asks, “And what can one do?” She also states, “What is one to do?” These types of questions make the reader realize that she feels like no one understand her and no one is listening. She is obviously suffering from serious mental illness and continues to tell her husband about her feelings. He dismisses them without really looking into what is wrong and instructs her to get exercise. She does not feel like anyone is listening to her and that she is trapped in the house and in the room with the yellow wallpaper with no one to hear her. She states that she feels very out of control, but that her husband gets upset with her when she expresses it. To prevent this, she does not tell him how she really feels. Instead, she furthers her loneliness and fakes feeling better. She states, “… so I take pains to control myself – before him, at least, and that makes me very tired.” Her desire to make things seem better than they are contribute to her feelings of loneliness, which only worsens her mental health issues. She even goes so far as to hide her writing from her husband, who she says becomes upset when she does. John even tells her there is no reason to suffer, and she states “John does not know how much I suffer.” He is gone for much of the time, leaving her physically alone as well. He is a busy doctor and is away during all of the day and even much …show more content…
During this time, women did not have access to mental health treatment like they do today. Most people had to suffer with their mental conditions in silence and never get help for it. It is interesting how the narrator’s husband is a doctor but cannot see how mental ill his own wife is. It is obvious quickly that the narrator has post-partum depression. She just delivered a baby, but in her writings, she barely discusses it. She mentions it about halfway through the story in passing. She states, “Such a dear baby!” Sadly, she then goes on to state, “And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous.” This is not a normal healthy reaction for a new mother to have toward their infant. One can assume she has told her husband this, and the nanny. Even if she has not said it, it should be obvious that she does not take care of the baby’s needs. It appears that the nurse changes, feeds, clothes, bathes and does all the things the baby needs for its daily care. If any of the people in the narrator’s life were paying attention, they would see that something was very wrong with her. John and their staff ignoring her is only causing her illness to

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