Yellow Wallpaper Oppression

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Mental Illness and the Oppression of Women in "The Yellow Wall-paper"

“The Yellow Wall-paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a feminist literary work about mental illness and the oppression of women. This oppression is evident throughout the story not only by the husband’s treatment of the narrator, but also through her non-questioning submission to him. Her concerns for her health and well-being fall on deaf ears, as her husband maintains a misogynistic view of her gender and the roles in which it entails. She is suggested to be overreacting or even unknowing of what is truly bothering her, which leads to her eventual descent into madness. “The Yellow Wall-paper” is not just a story of insanity, it is a story of mistreatment due to the sexist ideas placed upon women which facilitate the lack of necessary and proper treatment for mental illness.

Mental illness is a unique disease, because in most cases it remains invisible. The mind of a person who is suffering can be in complete disarray on the inside, but on the outside, they may look or seem perfectly healthy and content. Therefore, believing someone who voices concern for their mental health is incredibly important and detrimental to the healing process. However, the behavior of our narrator’s husband is the complete opposite of this. Instead of believing her, or even attempting to help her, he acts as a direct hindrance in her ability to receive the proper care she needs. His oppression of the
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