Mental Illness In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

1000 Words4 Pages
“The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and published in the 1890’s, was a way to break the barrier in the literary world for women. This literary work focuses on the mental illness of a woman and the treatment she gets from her husband. The main character envisions another woman behind the pattern of the wallpaper in her room, which the author allows us to suggest that the main character is having hallucinations, which Medline Plus defines as “Seeing patterns, lights, beings, or objects that are not there.” The author, Gilman, suffered herself from a form of psychosis, and created “The Yellow Wallpaper” to change how woman view and are able to carry themselves especially in vulnerable situations. With the author’s life…show more content…
As the character’s life in the story is progressing she becomes more controlled by her husband and doctors, and this can allow for the reader to infer that this has happened to Gilman as well. After writing “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman sent a copy of the story to the doctor that tried to cure her of her “mental disease.” This was a way of showing that women can be empowered over men and they do not need to be controlled by them. Relating the author’s life story to the short story created a influential piece of literary work and a breakthrough in the feminism movement in the literary world, gaining more attention to the feminist theory as well. Having hallucinations and the author portraying the idea of a secluded woman can be analyzed through the Psychological/Psychoanalytical theory. The main idea in this story is about the nameless main character seeing the figure of a woman behind the wallpaper in her secluded room. Trying to free this woman, the main character rips off pieces of the wallpaper. This is a symptom of hallucinations and further adds to the idea of the mental illness of the character. Towards the end of the story, the main character says, “This bed will not move!” Beds that are stuck to the floor is a common thing seen in mental institutions, adding another reason for the reader to think that this is definitely some form of mental illness…show more content…
When Gilman wrote, “The Yellow Wallpaper, she had the intention of making it a way for woman to know they are not alone. In the story, the main character sees the figure of the woman moving around at night, and she is still during the day. This is a representation of how the main character and most likely the author felt when around their husbands. During the day woman were controlled by their husbands and they may have felt secluded and have the feeling they could not act like themselves. During the nighttime, their husbands were separated from them and the movement of the figure could be a symbol of how women were able to break out and be

More about Mental Illness In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

Open Document