The Yellow Wallpaper : Mental Illness And Oppression

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On Mental Illness and Oppression in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Mental illness is a pressing condition that requires a doctor’s acceptance and understanding to be treated. One must respect the disorder and be aware of its side effects and characteristics in order to comprehend what is happening to the affected individual. In today’s society, most people are accepting of people’s handicaps and take into consideration their limits, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people were unaccepting of impairments and were quick to misjudge individuals leading them to be wrongly diagnosed. No piece of American literature better demonstrates this concern than Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gilman uses her background filled with her own struggles with mental illness and the oppression she suffered from her husband and 19th century society due to that illness to illustrate the outcome of a doctor or bystander dismissing the seriousness of the disease. A reader can witness the mental illness and oppression Gilman faced and the consequences of a misdiagnosis through her character Jane in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an ambitious and revolutionary feminist and activist, but mental illness threatened to restrict her even before oppression did. In fact, Gilman began suffering from depression in her pubescent years. Many people suggest she “inherited” depression as the center of her life from her mother’s family, the
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