Treatment Of Mental Illness : What Do Kate Chopin And Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

1391 WordsDec 14, 20146 Pages
Treatment of Mental Illness in the 1800’s What do Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, two authors whose works we have read, have in common? Both female authors suffered from depression during the 1880’s, their experiences with depression are seen in their literary works. After reading about the rest cure in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and learning that Chopin used writing for solace it made me want to learn more about how people with mental illnesses were treated and their conditions in the actual institutions in the 1800’s as well as the leading figures of the asylum reform. For anyone who has watched the second season of American Horror Story, “Asylum”, they have probably questioned whether the inhumane treatment of the patients that occurred in the show actually happened. Although there is no proof for some of the events that occurred in the show, through research I learned that a journalist had actually disguised herself as a patient in order to learn about how they were being treated in the 1800’s. PBS, in their background of Around the World in 72 Days talks about the woman who inspired the film in their post “Nellie Bly”, explains that this journalist was actually Elizabeth Jane Cochran, whose pen name was Nellie Bly. She became a journalist after sending an angry reply to Erasmus Wilson’s column about how women belonged in the house and working women were “a monstrosity”. The newspaper was impressed with her writing and spirit and hired
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