The Yellow Wallpaper: The Story that Changed How Women and Mental Illness Were Viewed

1891 Words 8 Pages
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story that surrounds many different topics. The narrator is living in a time period where women were looked down upon and mental illnesses were misunderstood. The narrator of the story suffers from post-partum depression and is recording her journey in a journal. Her husband, the typical man at the time, put her on “the rest cure,” as he believed that mental illnesses should be treated like physical illnesses. He brings her to a house far away from other people and makes her stay in the nursery. The nursery had shabby yellow wallpaper which sickened her, but intrigued her at the same time. The rest cure was basically confinement, both physically and mentally. She was deprived of …show more content…
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story that surrounds many different topics. The narrator is living in a time period where women were looked down upon and mental illnesses were misunderstood. The narrator of the story suffers from post-partum depression and is recording her journey in a journal. Her husband, the typical man at the time, put her on “the rest cure,” as he believed that mental illnesses should be treated like physical illnesses. He brings her to a house far away from other people and makes her stay in the nursery. The nursery had shabby yellow wallpaper which sickened her, but intrigued her at the same time. The rest cure was basically confinement, both physically and mentally. She was deprived of any form of creativity, this included writing, which was one of the things that kept her sane. This “cure” eventually leads to the decrease of her mental stability as she becomes more and more obsessed with the wallpaper. In order to convey a story with so many themes lots of literary devices were used. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses symbolism and characterization to explore themes about the lack of understanding of women and their mental health.
The narrator of the story, though unnamed, represents a stereotypical woman with mental illnesses in that day and age. “Many details, like the lack of a name, argue against her individuality,” (Ford 1). The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is told through a woman’s journal and
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