The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilm Generalization In The Medical Field

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Generalization in the Medical Field. Historically women have not been considered equal to men. This discrimination affected everything in a woman’s life and still exists today; an important place where they were discriminated against was in the medical community. This discrimination caused many misdiagnoses to occur and as such gave them incorrect treatment. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman reveals the medical community's mistakes of generalizing treatment and unfair treatment of women. The Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman who has been assigned the “rest cure” by her husband who is a doctor. Her brother, who is also a doctor, agreed with her husband’s decision. This cure is supposed to deal with her postpartum depression. Now …show more content…

She regretted throughout her life that she could not have been born a day later (Davis 19). Charlotte’s father was a librarian who was very detached from his children. Davis says on page 20: “Charlotte learned to mirror her father’s detachment”. She goes on to cite a quote of Gilman’s that explains that the term father means nothing to her besides a librarian who offers advice on books. If this does not show how detached and uncaring he was there are plenty more examples. He went on to abandon his family because he did not want one. A final example is of a time when Gilman was visiting her father in Boston at the public library, she ran to go hug her dad as most children do only for him to instantly turn her away and criticize her public display of affection (Davis 21). Her mother appeared to do her best with what she had, being a single mother at the time was far more difficult than nowadays. Life went on with Gilman until she had her child with her first husband. Where she was having trouble being a new mother which led to her eventual nervous breakdown (Davis xiii). Gilman’s family had a history with mental illness which inevitably led to the use of Mitchell’s “rest cure”. Gilman’s cousin underwent the “rest cure” in 1876 and just like in Gilman’s case it failed to cure anything (Davis 11). Finally in 1887 Gilman went to Weir Mitchell’s sanitarium …show more content…

In the beginning of the story our narrator has a skeptical view on the treatment and does not believe it will work but is trusting the professionals (The Yellow Wallpaper 516). Only for her 9 pages later to be ranting about the lady hidden in the wallpaper that only comes out at night (The Yellow Wallpaper 525). This change in tone is due to the treatment. She is in a room with this wallpaper she can not stand and is left with it nonstop for weeks. This time she spent staring at the wallpaper caused her mental health to plummet beyond repair, to the point where she was seeing hallucinations inside of the wallpaper. While this in itself is unreliable as evidence to the “rest cure”’s ineffectiveness, when you factor in the symbolism in the story you can see how this claim is backed up. The main symbol in The Yellow Wallpaper includes the very item that is in the title. The wallpaper is a flexible symbol in this story. The quality of the paper could represent the narrator’s mental condition. While the wallpaper, its pattern, and the woman could also represent the narrator’s mind and her feelings of being trapped. There are so many interpretations that you can not just pick one, but in this case I

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