The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” she discusses some of the issues found in 19th century society such as women’s oppression and the treatment of mental illness. Many authors throughout history have written stories that mimic their own lives and we see this in the story. We see Gilman in the story portrayed as Jane, a mentally unstable housewife who cannot escape her husband’s oppression or her own mind. Gilman reveals a life of depression and women’s oppression through her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Much of Gilman’s inspiration for writing “The Yellow Wallpaper” came from her own personal experiences from her childhood and her adult life. Charlotte’s father, Frederic Beecher Perkins, abandoned his wife and two children, Charlotte and Thomas, when they were both very young (Degler 39). While Charlotte’s mother, Mary Fitch Westcott, did remain in her life, she did not offer any affection or love to either of her children (Degler 39). Carl Degler states in his article that “Mrs. Perkins did permit herself to embrace them after they were asleep, and young Charlotte often feigned sleep in order to experience this joy” (39). Mrs. Gilman claimed that she withheld any affection from her children in order to make them self-reliant (Horowitz 8). As we can see through her story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman was a dark person and the lack of affection she was shown as a child is quite possibly one of the reasons for it. As a young
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