The Yellow Wallpaper Mental Illness

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Ghracelle King ENGL 110 Februrary 12 2023 Paper 1 The “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short fiction first-person novel that describes a woman with mental health issues and emphasizes the social expectations that were in place for women at the time more specifically, in the 18th century when women had almost no control. Gilman illustrated how the narrator manages to get over her husband and the physician's restrictions in order to write and gain freedom. The woman's mental condition deteriorates in "The Yellow Wallpaper" as she receives a "rest cure" in a rented home from her husband who is also a physician. Throughout the novel, her obsession with the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom is a symbol of how she descends into …show more content…

Her husband, John being a physician, believes that giving her a rest treatment where she is trapped in a room they rented for the summer covered in yellow wallpaper is best. Her husband suggests a therapy treatment that would keep her isolated in an old nursery room, but the narrator does not like the house a bit. She states that " there is something strange about the house—I can feel it” ( Gilman). She sees the house as a cage which she does not enjoy. She feels confined in the home since John has taken her there without her choice and is trapping her there for a while. In “ The Yellow Wallpaper”, she mentions in the beginning how “ I never saw a worse paper in my life” ( Gilman). As she and her husband continue to stay in the rental house, John decides not to change it since it was just temporary however she says “ I’m really getting quite fond of the big room, all but that horrid paper” ( Gilman). The narrator faces a difficult time staying in that room and starts to bother her. However, when she confronts her husband, he disregards her opinion and thinks a hug will make it all feel better. She mentions how “ He laughs at me so about this wallpaper!” (Gilman). John is unaware of his wife's suffering as she slowly loses her mind he also does not believe she is really ill, to begin with. Yet, she is treated by a …show more content…

She was not only held by John, but he also restricted her from engaging in her favorite activities, including writing. Not only that, but the narrator repeatedly alerts John to his needs, yet he ignores them. This demonstrates how he treats Jane like a child and ignores her opinions. In addition, in the early 1800s, an article written by Mini “1800s Women how were Treated or Role in Society?” illustrated how “women existed generally trapped in their homes ” and were generally stuck in their houses under the control of men. Therefore, women lost control over their life, which the narrator herself also encountered with her husband, John. Because she was restricted and stuck in her surroundings, the narrator was unable to communicate her feelings to her husband. She even states “ Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over” (Gilman). The narrator observes how other women were impacted by society's expectations and stigma. Her deviation from the community's expectations of women led to the labeling of her as a mentally ill person who experiences frequent hallucinations against the yellow

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