Yellow Wallpaper Mental Health

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is her most well known piece of literature. The story has received a lot of attention because of its relation to the rest cure therapy, which believes rest would cure mental illnesses. After Gilman gave birth to her daughter, Katherine, she began experiencing depression. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is based on Gilman’s own experience with the rest cure therapy prescribed by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell to cure her mental illness. She lasted no longer than a few months on the physician’s orders and was driven to insanity. Gilman wrote about her experience in a fictional way and published her story in 1892 in The New England Magazine. In the story the narrator’s treatment of confinement caused…show more content…
Overall, she loves the estate but mentions that she feels like there is something odd about it, hinting to the readers that something will be different about this mansion. Her husband, John, “…Paradoxically tells her that there is really nothing wrong with her and forbids her to think of her condition at the same time as he strictly imposes on her an isolation that is devoid of the society and stimtilus she desires”(Quawas). John does not want her to feel that she is mentally ill and orders that she stay isolated from the rest of the world by staying in the upstairs bedroom. Confinement to the room has caused her to study it and she grows to hate everything about it, down to the wallpaper on the walls. “The thought of the windows leads to a description of the open country and suggests the freedom that the narrator lacks in her barred room” (Schumaker). The room’s windows are barred, concluding that she is trapped from being a normal person. Since the upstairs bedroom is where the narrator is confined, it is the focal point of the story. She becomes obsessed with the wallpaper and it becomes all she talks and thinks about. As the story progresses, she begins to see a woman behind the wallpaper who she believes is trapped and she is fighting to get out. The woman behind the wallpaper is a symbol of the narrator who is also trapped and fighting to get
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