In literature, many authors use the technique of symbolism to help convey their point to the reader. Symbols are objects that take on more than their obvious meaning; Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a famous example. In this short story, the author is a direct correlation to the narrator. Gilman brilliantly weaves symbolism in her story that represents the personal feelings that she experienced throughout her own life.
The story begins when the narrator and her husband, John, take a summer vacation to an isolated country mansion. John, a physician, insists on the vacation as part of his wife's prescribed treatment plan. The narrator, like the author, was diagnosed with post-partum depression, a type of nervous disorder following the birth of a child.
The treatment prescribed to Gilman for her post partum depression became the basis for this eerie, yet fascinating story. The treatment was known as the rest cure.
"For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia--and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that he concluded that there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to " live as domestic a life as far as possible," to " have but two hours' intellectual life a day," and "never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again" as long as I lived. I went home and obeyed those directions for some three months, and came so near the border line of utter mental...