Madness In Yellow Wallpaper


Sliding Towards Madness in Gilman’s
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” relays to the reader something more than a simple story of a woman at the mercy of the limited medical knowledge in the late 1800’s. Gilman creates a character that expresses real emotions and a psyche that can be examined in the context of modern understanding. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written in first person and first published in 1892 in the January edition of the New England Magazine, depicts the downward spiral of depression, loss of control and competence, and feelings of worthlessness which lead to greater depression and the possibility of schizophrenia. This paper will explore two possible ...

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a woman whose name is never revealed, tells us of the mental state of mind she is under and how her husband and his brother, both physicians, dismiss it. "You see, he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do? If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression -- a slight hysterical tendency -- what is one to do?" (671). The doctors seem completely unable to admit that there might be more to her condition than just stress and a slight nervous disorder even when a summer in the country and weeks of bed-rest have not helped. It might be thought that it is a simple matter of a loving husband being overprotective of his ill wife, but this assumption is quickly washed away by his arrogant attitudes, combined with his callous treatment of her which only serve to compound the problem. “At first he meant to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was ...

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(672). She is not allowed visitors: "It is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship . . . but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now." (673). In large part because of this oppression, she continues to decline. "I don't feel as if it was worthwhile to turn my hand over for anything and I’m getting dreadfully fretful and querulous." (675). But by keeping her a prisoner in a room with offensive wallpaper and very little to occupy her mind, John almost forces her to dwell on her psyche. Prison is supposed to be depressing, and she is pretty close to being a prisoner.
The story does hint to the fact ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/6/2004 09:19:53 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3149
Pages: 12

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