The Cult Of The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Michael Zhao K. Keogh AP Lit. Period 3 22 January 2015 The Cult of Domesticity “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, depicts a young woman’s gradual descent into insanity due to her entrapment, both mentally and physically, in the restrictive cult of domesticity. Through the narrator’s creeping spiral into madness, Gilman seeks to shed light upon the torturous and constraining societal conditions in which women are expected to live, that permeates throughout all aspects of their lives. At first glance to an average reader unfamiliar with Gilman’s history, “The Yellow Wallpaper” seems to just provide a tale about the oppressive relationship between the man and the woman in a domestic environment, however, once Gilman’s own personal life is uncovered, the story takes on a new level of depth. After learning of Gilman’s personal story, it becomes apparent that “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and the struggle of its narrator, carries a distinct message. Gilman grew up in an unhappy and impoverished family with a brother, a single mother, and no father figure. She later went on to marry Charles Stetson (whom she later divorced) and had a daughter with him. After the birth of her daughter, Gilman fell into a deeply depressed state, indicating the relevance of postpartum depression. When she consulted Dr. Weir Mitchell about it, she was prescribed a “rest cure.” It was this event that inspired Gilman to write “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and many similarities can be drawn between
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