Insanity is a deranged state of the mind. Not everyone has the same experiences nor the same symptoms which lead to their mental disorder. In her story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a peculiar case of insanity. The main character is put on bed rest to overcome her temporary nervous depression. However, while being stuck inside the room, the unreliable narrator increasingly becomes more and more symptomatic. Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed.
This short story is an embellishment to illustrate the impact of the Rest Cure. “The story is not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman declared (Siegel, 2008). Similar to Lauren Hale, countless women are able to resonate with Gilman and “The Yellow Wallpaper” (2008). Lauren Hale explains being able to identify with the main character due to her own journey of motherhood and insanity thereafter. Charlotte Perkins Gilman successfully incorporated a realistic insanity into the main character of the short story as well as exposing the mental health diagnoses and cures for the 19th century. The “cures” back then were sadly insufficient and ignorant of treating the illness and instead closeting away those who suffered in the hopes of recovering or remain the dark family secret (Hale, 2008). Charlotte admits she never had hallucinations to the mural decorations, but simply her motivation to embellish and sharing her story, was in the hopes of saving women from her fate of mistreatment. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s own words regarding her composition of “The Yellow Wallpaper”
In the late 1800’s people with mental illness weren 't accomdated like people are today. Often people with illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, we 're teased and forced to lock themselves in a room away from civilization. No one truly cared for those with mental illness or tried to find out ways to accomdate them in school or regular life. Even when mental hospitals became more helpful those suffering from different illnesses would rather stay at home in fear than to seek professional help because of the risk of getting teased or called pathetic. The mentally ill patients were made prisoners, sent to alms houses or forced to remain at home because the first colonist believed they were “sick in the head” due to practicing
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that was written in first person during 1892. This story depicts society’s attitude towards women with a mental illness at that time. Ultimately, the story shows how women were treated in the 19th century. “And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder— I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” (231). Shortly after the narrator who remains unnamed and her husband John rented an old mansion, the narrator encountered a state of delusion in the wallpaper that surrounded her. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator develops a peculiar relationship with the wallpaper; the author’s use of allusion, symbolism, and personification identifies the existence of the woman’s illness.
Madness can drive any seemingly rational person to perform completely irrational and potentially deadly actions. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Susan Glaspell both observe the effects of madness in their respective fictional short stories. Gilman’s work, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a first person short story in which madness is the central theme throughout. The narrator, who is also the protagonist, is driven into insanity after being prescribed the “rest cure” from her husband; her descent into madness is apparent as the story goes on. Glaspell’s work, “Jury of Her Peers,” is a third person short story in which madness acts as a secluded theme. In this story, Minnie Wright, the protagonist who is never present, murders her husband. Her drastic
The stigma of mental health and stability has been a rampant issue for decades, although one that is frequently overlooked. Studies have shown that historical events such as the Industrial Revolution that caused massive migrations and poor living conditions for the middle and lower classes wreaked psychological havoc for generations. Many of these psychological effects like lower standards of professional satisfaction, and "regional patterns of personality and well-being" (Jasper Hamill) are still prominent today. In the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman explores the effects of mental health on women in the 1890s, and how the stigmas surrounding the topic of mental health lead to the oppression and unjust persecution
Modern artists today generally use images of physical and mental illness in literature. In The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, both short stories show the usage of illness, madness, and fear. The narrators in both stories try to convince the readers that the characters are physically and mentally ill. Edgar Allen Poe creates these vivid characters which successfully assist the building of plot and ideas. Poe demonstrates how a person’s inner turmoil and terror can lead to insanity through illustrative language.
Humans are not perfect beings free from illness and corruption. Things can go wrong and often types people suffer for it. They can go insane. This is further explored in the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” written by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman they are similar due to the recurring themes in both texts featuring appearance vs. reality, and Madness. With their similarities in writing styles, we see the struggle that the human mind goes through when dealing with dark obsession, an important aspect of the human condition. There are also some differences, for instance, there is death in both but they are a bit different, and one of the narrators has more control of their situation than the other.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and published in 1892, is both a psychological and feminist piece of literature. It demonstrates oppression, defined as “the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.” The story, written in a form of a journal, is seen through the eyes of a nameless female narrator, who moves with her husband, John, to an estate during the summer to cope with her “hysteria”, eventually leading her to a state of oppression and insanity. The story reflects the confinement and restraint most women during the 1900s felt in marriages and the inferiority women had too men.
The protagonist, who remains unnamed, is suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her child and is on ‘rest’ cure by her physician husband. In this paper, I will try to prove that ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ acts as a subversive text by portraying the protagonist’s “descent into madness” as a result of the suppression that women faced in Victorian period.
Throughout short fiction, Charlotte Gilman is most famously noted for her ability to create strong gothic themes in her writing. This is especially true in her 1890s story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Overall, an important theme in Charlotte Gilman short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is that when combined, isolation and oppression often lead to negative consequences such as insanity and mental instability. Gilman achieves this through her thorough use of symbolism and settings that helps to highlight and establish the overall theme.
Obsession, internal conflict, and underlying guilt are all aspects of being human but when it’s associated with paranoia and insanity it may be just the recipe for the perfect crime as perceived by Edger Allan Poe in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Poe uses this as one of his shortest stories to discuss and provide an insight into the mind of the mentally ill, paranoia and the stages of mental detrition.
In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman represents how wretchedness is overlooked and changed into blended sentiments that eventually result in a significantly more profound enduring incongruity. The Yellow Wallpaper utilizes striking mental and psychoanalytical symbolism and an effective women's activist message to present a topic of women' have to escape from detainment by their male centric culture.
Throughout the story, you start to notice that the narrator starts to become clinically insane as she develops childlike behavior such as demolishing the yellow wallpaper and biting some of the old nailed down furniture. The reader is able to tell how hysterical the narrator is getting as she describes how violently she starts to act towards the end of the story. Even the way the narrator starts to describe her dark thoughts and self-opinions show dangerous signs of how her mental health had gone downhill. “On a pattern like this, by daylight, there is a lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant to a normal mind.”(Gilman 801) Her transformation from being able to have self-control to eventually growing clinically insane correlates to characterizations such as horror, madness, and fear that are expressed in the writing styles of gothic
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a first-person written feminist short story that critiques and condemns the nineteenth-century American male attitude towards women and their physical as well as mental health issues. In the short story, Perkins Gilman juxtaposes universal gender perspectives of women with hysterical tendencies using the effects of gradually accumulating levels of solitary confinement; a haunted house, nursery, and the yellow wallpaper to highlight the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and promote the equality of sexes.