Symptoms Of Disorder, By John Warns

1988 Words8 Pages
One of the most obvious, yet in the nineteenth century completely unrecognised and undiagnosed, reasons behind symptoms of supposed insanity would be post-natal depression. Gilmans narrator suffers from just this as she exclaims: ‘Such a dear baby! And yet I CANNOT be with him, it makes me so nervous’, conveying a certain disconnection with her son. The narrator feels her husband fails to understand her perspective: she is the complete opposite of her ‘public sphere’ husband who ‘is practical in the extreme… and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures’. She yearns for a life which she believes this domestic role has stolen from her: Gilman’s narrator longs to write but John warns ‘that with…show more content…
The intersection of confinement and gender is shown in the passage where the narrator says “and she is all the time trying to crawl through. But nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads.”, the narrator sometimes sees many, many women imprisoned by the pattern. The pattern she sees on the wallpaper is a microcosm of society in which she, along with all women, is supressed of any desires other than those seen as etiquette. The narrator comes to an epic epiphany in TYW as she becomes empowered by confidence and self-belief, which she desperately lacks throughout the story. When she says “I’ve got out at last”, it is arguable that this sudden confidence was sprouted from her challenge with her self-identity, leading her to mental degradation. The mental degradation is ambiguous however; it could be argued that this is only a stage of imaginative and possibly even physical freedom that the character is experiencing. Without this effect of insanity the change in status between John and the narrator would not have been possible because she would remain as subdued as she ever was. There is a similar revelation in ADH with Nora seemingly breaking away from Torvald’s restraints however, this time with a lack of mental illness. Nora’s realisation involves more of a conscious decision in the sense that her mind was not obscured by any mental illness; she finally
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