Yellow Wallpaper Sexism

1076 Words5 Pages
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, tells a story of a woman in the early 1900’s suffering from the mental illness hysteria. One of the popular treatments used to cure women with mental illnesses was the “Resting Cure”, which required the patient to be secluded and placed in a bed to rest until cured. The treatment methods used to cure mental disorders at this point in time were not only in-effective, but also made the illness grow worse and caused the patient to accumulate more illnesses. The medical practices used on women during this time correspond to society’s view of sexism and how women were poorly treated. The famously used rest cure ironically didn’t seem to cure much of anything and caused much unrest. The Rest Cure…show more content…
Most of the treatments done by doctors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were experiments because no real cure had been made for mental disorders. Therefore doctors would perform treatments not knowing whether or not it would benefit the patient, or do more harm. Some of the popular ways to treat patients with mental illness were: hydro therapy, heat exposure, insulin therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and lobotomy. The rest cure was known to be ineffective because of the entrapment of the patient in a confined place of a long period of time. This caused the patient to gain large amounts of fat and huge muscle loss. The after effects of the rest cure could have caused the patient to produce illnesses such as depression on top of the hysteria begin treated for. Hydro therapy and heat exposure were also ineffective, with patients showing no signs of curing the mental disorder. For hydro therapy the patient would be sprayed with cold water or wrapped in child wet blankets; until their body temperature dropped to the desired degree. Or the patient would go through heat exposure, being placed in a hot box or placed under a heating lamp; this was mostly used to relax the patient. The after effects of these treatments would leave the patient with no signs of getting better and often left then with viruses like pneumonia. Insulin therapy and electroconvulsive therapy were similar in that they rarely benefited the patient. Insulin therapy was done by injecting the patient with insulin until they went into shock and had a seizure. Electroconvulsive therapy was done by sending electricity through the patient’s body until they began to convulse. In most cases the patient would not survive these treatments. If they did survive they would be left with permeant brain damage and at high risk for seizures and heart attack. Finally is one of the more famous procedures done, lobotomy, where brain
Open Document