The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper

In the grips of depression and the restrictions prescribed by her physician husband a woman struggles with maintaining her sanity and purpose. As a new mother and a writer, and she is denied the responsibility and intellectual stimulation of these elements in her life as part of her rest cure. Her world is reduced to prison-like enforcement on her diet, exercise, sleep and intellectual activities until she is "well again". As she gives in to the restrictions and falls deeper into depression, she focuses on the wallpaper and slides towards insanity. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story written from a first-person perspective about a young woman's mental deterioration during the 1800's and
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During this period (late 1800 -- early 1900's) it was common for physicians to treat depression with the "rest cure" of complete bed rest and limited intellectual activity. Therefore, despite her opposition to the treatment the narrator adheres to the restrictions with the exception of covertly writing in a journal about her feelings, daily routine and the mansion. Her initial focus is on the mansion, the surrounding gardens and the bedroom chosen for her during her stay.
When her focus eventually settles on the wallpaper in the bedroom and she states, "I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin" (Gilman 260). As the narrator resigns herself to her intellectual confinement, she begins to see more details in the wallpaper pattern. This can be seen as the slow shift from the connection to her family, friends and colleagues to her focus inward as she sinks deeper into depression. She describes that "—I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design" (Gilman 262). As she focuses inward, sinking deeper into her depression the figure in the wallpaper takes shape and she states that, "There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will" (Gilman 264). And she begins to describe the form of a woman behind the wallpaper pattern, "Sometimes I think there are a

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