The Yellow Wallpaper 'And The Evolution Of The Rest Treatment'

449 Words2 Pages
Doctors of the 19th century thought they were above everyone else because of their education and had a tendency to disregard the patient’s suggestions. Jacobus asserts in his work that “The hysteria that is femininity must be repressed in the interests of a masculinist psychoanalytic theory; the uncanny that is narrative must be repressed in order to sustain a realist view of fiction” (qtd. in E. Showalter 30). As the subject of male doctors’ authority, 35 years of feminist criticism had turned the interpretation of the story’s narrator into a victim of patriarchal control. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” John says, “you really are better, dear, whether you can see it or not. I am a doctor, dear, and I know” (Gilman 236). She replies by saying that she has not…show more content…
He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him” (Gilman 232). He paid no attention to her opinions or thoughts and dismissed them by presenting himself as a doctor and that he knew the cause of her problem. Her husband believed, since no reason for her to be sick was present, his interpretation offered him satisfaction, rather than ask his wife how she felt. S. Weir Mitchell in “The Evolution of the Rest Treatment,” claimed that a woman went into his office in search of someone that could help her. She expressed her concern by mentioning “please do not send me to go to bed” (Mitchell 245). In spite of what she said, he still sent her to rest and he quickly realized her concern about resting: “she threw up her meals undigested, and was manifestly worse…sometimes the [vomiting] was mere regurgitation, sometimes there was nausea and violent straining, with consequent extreme exhaustion” (Mitchell 245). Yet another example of how highly doctors thought of themselves. He did not even give a second thought to her comment and asked her to rest in spite of her pleading. As a result, she ended up in worse condition than when she started
Open Document