The Narrator's Postpartum Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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The narrator seems to be sane at the beginning of the story, but her husband’s attempts to cure her actually made the condition far worse. He confined her to a room and took away the one thing she loved to do; using her imagination as a writer. He stated that she should not be socially active, as it will worsen her condition, but being in isolation actually made things worse. She disagreed with his actions, but was unwilling to go against him. One example is when Charlotte said, “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus -- but John says the very worst thing that I can do is think about my condition and I confess it always makes me feel bad, so I will let it alone and talk about the house.”…show more content…
Instead of fulfilling her needs for social and intellectual stimulation, he forced her into isolation and prescribed mind-altering drugs. So instead of getting better, her mind became so focused on the yellow wallpaper in the room, that she imagined herself trapped behind bars and desperately needing to escape. This showed how insane she had become. This story showed how powerful the human mind can be, especially when the effects of drugs and spousal abuse are brought into the situation. When Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, it was in relation to her own Neurasthenia disorder, and the writing of this paper actually helped change the treatment process when Gilman explained, the story “saved one woman from a familiar fate - so terrifying her family that they let her out into normal activity and she recovered” (Gilman, Why I). Reading this story was a sad example of how women with postpartum depression were treated back in the 1800’s, before we knew more about the cures for those ailments. Gilman showed significant courage when writing this story, as it reflected on her own experiences and how she almost became a fatality from this type of treatment. The fact that she has helped many people through writing this story shows how important that her words truly were in her work, The Yellow
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