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Use Of Mental Stability Vs. The Rest Cure In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Mental Stability vs. the “Rest Cure”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman used her personal experience with depression to write her most well known short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. This story took place in the nineteenth century when women in society were often under the dominance and control of their husbands and other male influences. The treatments used for women with a nervous condition called neurasthenia during this time involved taking a rest period. In the short story, the protagonist is placed in another home for three months with her child and John, her husband, and physician. She does not have any contact with anyone besides John and her nurse and is to avoid any type of stimulation as it may derange the purpose of the rest cure. One prominent feature in the story that is continually referred to would be the yellow wallpaper. As the story continues, her fascination with the wallpaper begins
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She then determines that the figure that shows up behind the bars in the shadows is a woman, along with many other “creeping women” (Gilman 248). She finally realizes in the end her reflection on the wallpaper, is symbolic of herself and the situation in which she is placed upon. The woman is trapped within the wallpaper in the same manner as she is. They are not to escape and are forced to stay contained behind the shadows. She is told to stay in that bedroom for most of their time there because of the rest cure. Her mental thoughts begin to grow more paranoid the more her interest grows with the wallpaper. She mentions that the woman in the wallpaper shakes the wallpaper as if she wants to “get out” (Gilman 243), comparing the woman to a prisoner, unable to escape from the horrendous wallpapered room, much like she is. Soon after, she finally identifies herself as the woman in the wallpaper, living in a closed off, isolated
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