The Yellow Wallpaper

Decent Essays
Sarah Kreeger EngWr 301 Professor Bradford 21 July 2013 Short Story Analysis The Yellow Wallpaper: The Power of Society’s Views On the Care of Mental Patients “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman takes the form of journal entries of a woman undergoing treatment for postpartum depression. Her form of treatment is the “resting cure,” in which a person is isolated and put on bed rest. Her only social interaction is with her sister-in-law Jennie and her husband, John, who is also her doctor. Besides small interactions with them, most of the time she is left alone. Society believes all she needs is a break from the stresses of everyday life, while she believes that “society and stimulus” (pg 347, paragraph 16) will make…show more content…
She has been trained to trust in her husband blindly and sees no other way. He calls her “little girl” (352) and “little goose” (349) and states “She will be as sick as she pleases!” (352) whenever she tries to express her issues. Instead of fighting for what she thinks will make her better she accepts it and keeps pushing her feelings aside, while he treats her like a child. We get an instant feel for her problem in the first page when she says, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that” (pg 346). A woman shouldn’t expect her husband to laugh at her concerns. Even after briefly writing about her condition she remembers her husband telling her the very worst thing she can do is think about it and follows his instructions. This is when she begins to focus on the house instead of her problems and the obsession with the wallpaper starts. She has nothing else to think about alone in the home; they don’t even allow her to write, which she has to do in secret. If she was free to express her feelings, she wouldn’t have had to shove them aside and try to find other things to occupy her mind with. She finds greatest comfort when she writes, but her husband believes that it is bad for her to do so because it is too stimulating. She makes comments many times expressing how writing makes her feel better, that it would “relieve the press of ideas and rest me” (349) and that she “must say
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