How Did The Heroine Become A Lunatic

Decent Essays
Second Formal Paper
In the story The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the heroine who suffered postnatal depression was applied the “rest cure” in a colonial mansion by her husband John, a high standing physician. The heroine was not allowed to do anything she wanted during the therapy: she was not allowed to write; she was not allowed to leave the house; she was not allowed to visit her relatives. She was forced to live in a room with the walls covered by yellow wallpaper, which finally caused her to create illusions and go mad. It seemed like the heroine had a sweet family and lived in a peaceful environment. Why did the heroine become a lunatic? In another word, what caused her to be lunatic?
Gilman explained to her
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In gradual, they just followed the unequal rules without any doubts and questions and didn’t even realize that this was a serious gender issue.
The pressure of social prejudice on women from their same gender was also presented in The Yellow Wallpaper. John’s sister Jenni came to the heroine’s house. “She was a dear girl and so careful of the heroine. She was a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession.” However, she didn’t allow the heroine to do anything either. The heroines “verily believed she thought it was the writing which made her sick (Gilman, P80).” Jenni took good care of the heroine, though, she hindered the heroine to fight for her freedom meanwhile.
It was obvious that rest cure didn’t work on the heroine, and even made her condition worse. When talking about the therapy, she said ironically: “John, a high standing physician and the husband of hers, didn’t even believe she was sick. Perhaps that was one reason she did not get well faster. (Gilman, P76)” She “personally disagreed with those ideas of forbidding her to “work” and “believed that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do her good (Gilman, P76).” She wanted to be John’s support, instead of his burden.
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The heroine’s attitude towards the yellow wallpaper has changed over the story. She hated it at first, then noticed that the wallpaper could move, and she thought a woman was trapped behind the wallpaper. The way how the heroine thought about her family and the society has also changed at the same time. Instead of being controlled and destroyed under gender discrimination and male chauvinism, the heroine chose to break through all restraints from the society and fight for her freedom at the end. She “didn’t like it a bit (Gilman, P77)” so she tore all the wallpaper, liberated the woman behind it. She crept out of the room before she getting a breakdown and she told her husband and Jenni that they could not put her back anymore. John’s faint symbolized the collapse of the patriarchal society under the rule of
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