Mental Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Literary analysis Postpartum is one of the most frightening and common conditions. Affecting roughly one in seven new mothers in the United States, yet postpartum is classified as a mental illness. Like most other mental illnesses, many social injustices define the quality of the treatments. While this is made apparent in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story "The Yellow Wallpaper". In this story, we see through the eyes of a woman named Jane, also the narrator, suffering from severe postpartum psychosis. While hiding the severity of her symptoms from her physician husband and their clueless family. Meanwhile, the characterizations of Jane help show how infinitely she suffers from hallucinations and delusional ideology, not a hysterical…show more content…
Throughout "The Yellow Wallpaper", there are many signs that Janes condition is far greater than most, and her diagnosis and treatment do not follow standard procedures to ensure a return to her sanity. However, the severity and the vastness of this crippling illness are absolutely misunderstood. According to the Mayo Clinic “Postpartum psychosis is a rare, serious mental illness that affects one in 500 to 1,000 new mothers. The onset is usually within the first six weeks after delivery and may cause the mother to completely lose touch with reality”.(“Postpartum Depression - Symptoms and Causes,” para.4) Gilman uses Janes’ point of view, giving the inside view of a mind that struggles to make sense of the chaos that is Jane's mind. Through the hallucinations and uneven thinking, we can see the wallpaper given a key role. Although Gilman never actually says what the illness, that is suffered from, an infant is referred to as well as keeping the mother and child separate. Also stating “there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” Allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions on what illness is affecting the…show more content…
Projecting an image of putrid yellow, noting just the color gives Jane a sickly feeling. While lines such as “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulfur tint in others.” add an amazing amount of detail to help form the picture for the reader. While there are many that would perceive these details as signs of oppression or sadness, with leading details towards mental illness and lack of rights given to the narrator. If you look outside of prejudgments and social biases at the title and only that. The first image that comes to mind is the brightness of the sun or purity of a petal, not the sickly color of urine or rotting lemons. However, Gilman was highly skilled in bringing inanimate objects to life by painting a clear picture with all the right amount of detail to see through the narrators’ eyes. Without setting the scene with a high gloss finish, instead adding symbols and details to portray a real-life illustration. Using symbolism according to the literary terms website “Authors often use symbols (or “symbolism”) to give their work with more meaning and to make a story be about more than the events it describes. This is one of the most basic and widespread of all literary techniques”. (“Symbol: Definition and Examples | LiteraryTerms.net,”
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