In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is suffering from postpartum depression. The narrator 's husband John, who also happens to be her physician, prescribes the rest cure to help lift his wife of her depressive state and ultimately heal her depression. However, the rest cure does not allow the narrator to experience any mental stimulation. Therefore, to manage her boredom the narrator begins obsessing over the pattern of the yellow wallpaper. After analyzing the pattern for awhile, the narrator witnesses a woman trapped behind bars.
The protagonist, the depressed person, is a female patient who suffers from immense depression. Medical aids do not take much effect, and she relies on her so-called Support System, which consists of her former friends. She calls a member of Support System member at night and talks about her emotional agony. While doing so, she has somehow progressed to healing in the psychiatric therapy, although her state of mind became worse than ever after her therapist’s sudden suicide. Finally, however, she accept that her feeling toward the therapist’s loss is not a mourning, but the sense of abandonment, namely, selfish feeling of loss.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” Literary Analysis The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband.
The story focuses on the main character who is a woman suffering from mental illness. It is very clear that the woman is ill when she states, “You see, he does not believe I am sick!” (677) speaking of her husband who is a doctor. So first she admits she is sick then later she states, “I am glad my case is not serious!” (678) in this statement she is challenging herself and this shows the reader she is facing some confusion. The yellow wallpaper in the main characters (the narrator) bedroom is a major point in the story. The yellow wallpaper plays a major role in the woman’s insanity.
On the account of Sylvia Plath’s suicide, not many people understood the choices she made and the reasons behind them but it can be interpreted that the theme of men has a major role in the circumstances she was placed in, especially in relation to her husband Ted Hughes. Throughout the collection, we seem to be under the impression of a very negative vibe from the male persona as a lot of her poems portray a sense of anger towards the male characters. Quite a few of Plath’s poems seem to bring up feelings of sorrow and resentment that suggest the emotional state of Plath herself. Being diagnosed as clinically depressed for the majority of her life does imply that her mentality was not disrupted by Hughes but intensified by his wrongdoings. Biographically speaking, her emotional state can be brought back to her childhood in relation to her father.
The “Rest Cure” that John, her husband, gives her is a huge symbol (Gilman 10). She is given a treatment plan because she is seen as damaged by her husband John, who thinks that this “Rest Cure” will fix her. This “Rest Cure” only drives the woman to insanity. Symbolism,which is a key literary element in Charlotte Gilman’s work , is used to portray many different messages throughout the story. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman, it is very evident that Gilman symbolically shows the narrator feeling trapped, depressed, and damaged throughout the
These feelings drastically impact her works and demonstrate her struggle with mental illness. In addition to feelings of worthlessness resulting from her depression, Plath experienced numerous tragic events which appear heavily in her works. In response to these dreadful experiences, Plath begins to feel worthless and doubt herself as a writer and person. Plath’s childhood traumas and childhood relationships deeply impact her work as well as her life. In an essay, her Ex Husband states that her attempted suicide “had grown from the decisive event in her childhood, which was the death of her father when she was eight.”(Hughes, “On Sylvia Plath”) her poetry “grew out of terrible and shattering and inally unbearable expierences”(Souces 4) Hughes attributes Plath’s depression to her childhood relationships, specifically the death of her father.
(l.42) The husband decides everything for the protagonist and thinking it’s for her own good, but eventually his methods proves to worsen her illness, she can’t even write. She also has a brother, who is a doctor that doesn’t really help her on her sickness and just orders her to rest. The poor character has two family members that should be helping her, instead they are making her worse, even though that is not their intentions. In the story, she suffers from a mental breakdown after she obsesses over a wallpaper that consumes her every moment. She starts acting paranoid because of the things she is seeing in the yellow wallpaper.
In this time of need, one would generally feel several emotions including hurt, loneliness, anger, and more. Sharon Begley, writer from Newsweek and author of the article, “Happiness: Enough Already,” critiques the newfound “happiness psychologists” and their views on the topic of happiness. She acknowledges this same scenario for, “Jess Decourcy Hinds, an English teacher, (who) recounted how, after her father died, friends pressed her to distract herself from her profound sadness and sense of loss” (Begley 454). Being in this situation is not desirable but is an event everyone has or eventually will face in the course his or her life. Being told to just ignore or distract themselves from the other emotions they are experiencing is not helpful as this person’s friends may believe.
Although the novel did not receive much attention immediately upon it’s release, Sylvia’s untimely death created much publicity and a new level of interest for readers who saw it as a window into the late author’s life. The Bell Jar is the fictionalized autobiography of Sylvia Plath. Sylvia is represented in the book by the nineteen-year-old Esther Greenwood. The novel follows Esther as she deals with the obstacles of womanhood and those of becoming an adult. It begins during her time as a guest editor at a fashion magazine and covers the events leading up to her nervous breakdown and suicide attempt and the months she spent in a mental hospital.