The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper:

In the 19th century, mental illness was an uncommon issue to be discussed. The public would treat the illness only by avoiding the matter and forcing the sick to feel helpless. At that time, the medical profession had not yet distinguished between diseases of the mind and diseases of the brain. Neurologists such as Dr. Silas Mitchell treated the problems that would now be treated by psychiatrists, such as depression. The most accepted cure was Mitchell's “Rest Cure,” which required complete isolation from family and friends. It forbid any type of mental or physical energy, and required total bed rest. The harsh results of the “Rest Cure” are easily seen in the story titled “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by
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C. Skey, a Victorian Age physician. (Showalter, p. 130)
In fact, as shown in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, strong and creative women were forbidden from exercising their minds and bodies. They often struck out with fits of hysteria, or became extremely depressed because they could not find useful outlets for their energy. The narrator was unable to express her thoughts through writing, because her health depended upon her remaining relaxed and peaceful.
In addition, postpartum depression was not diagnosed as a reasonable condition during Gilman's time. Motherhood brings significant hormonal and other changes that require psychological adjustment. After giving birth, some women become extremely depressed. Postpartum depression, coupled with the unfair social constraints of the Victorian Era, drove some women mad, causing serious mental illness and even suicide. (Showalter, p. 130)
The main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper” encounters many signs of entrapment. Her mind and body are unable to escape the toucher of the “Rest Cure” given to her by her husband. It is apparent from the beginning of the story that her husband

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