Critical Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper

1915 WordsOct 3, 20178 Pages
When “The Yellow Wallpaper” is viewed within the scopes of New Historical, Feminist, Psychoanalytical, Ethical and Reader response criticisms, the reader should first be imparted with the understanding of who Charlotte Perkins Gilman was, what she stood for, the time period in which the story was written, and how aspects of her cultural and historical background related to it. Second, how the circumstances imposed upon women’s freedom of thought. Third, the reader shall ascertain how Freud’s Psychoanalytical theory of the Id, ego, and superego impact the narrative. Fourth, the ethical implications of the resting cure. Finally, how the audience’s viewpoint is challenged after reading the fictional short story. The new historical standpoint…show more content…
Gilman’s treatment was overseen by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchel, who was mentioned by name within the story as someone whom the protagonist felt threatened by and vehemently refused to be placed in his care. Mitchel was the leading physician in the nation who treated neurasthenia, a condition that is characterized by physical and mental exhaustion often associated with depression or emotional stress. Neurasthenia was often referred to as a female weakness in hysteria and nervous condition. He recommended the same “rest cure” treatment that was described by the narrator in the story. After the story was published, Gilman admitted that the main character’s condition was similar to that of her own with the exception of the exaggerated hallucinations. From a feminist standpoint, the insistence of the narrator’s husband deeming it mandatory that she stay in the nursery whilst under the constraints of her mental prison gives the impression that she is the embodiment of the circumstances that women were challenged with in regards to their freedom of thought. The introspective journal entries written by the protagonist make it clear that her husband finds her “fancies” ridiculous and that he upheld the ideology that he certainly does not believe she should be writing or diagnosing herself. He does not believe she is capable of understanding herself or that she has the intuition to know what is
Open Document