Post Partum Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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How does Gilman positon the reader to empathise with the main character? The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist gothic novel, written by highly acclaimed author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The novel looks in detail about the role of women in a patriarchal society and the isolation that this can cause. Furthermore, the narrator of the novel, is Gilman’s own voice and experiences. It is through the narrators ‘voice’ that the reader is able to develop an understanding of post-partum depression and the effects it has on the narrator. The novel illustrates the need for a feminist voice, through the experiences of the narrator and the manner in which she breaks free from the confines of her husband’s embrace. Furthermore, the depression and isolation …show more content…

From the beginning, it is clear that the narrator appears as a docile and complacent. In the novel, the narrator makes it obvious that John her husband, has all control over her. She writes “If a physician of a high standing, and one husband... assures there is temporary nervous depression… what is one to do?” This shows the narrator’s position, there is nothing she can do or say. Her husband has diagnosed her with postnatal depression. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.” Gilman positions the reader in the novel to sympathise with the narrator, as a result leading the reader to connect with the main characters in the novel. It makes the reader feel sorry for the narrator as there is nothing she can do, John laughs at her, and she writes this as though this is normal behaviour for her to have to put up with. After reading and analysing the novel, there is more to the story, as the yellow wallpaper is symbolic of how women were treated once diagnosed with postnatal depression, they were to be put into a confined area and are to be isolated from the society. The narrator acts as a voice for all women during this period. The woman who she sees coming out of the wallpaper is a representation of all women who are struggling to break free from the restrictions placed upon them, by men. “I believe that

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