Professor E. Gordon
12 March 2003
The short storyThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a tale of female oppression and a woman whose fate is ultimately determined by both internal and external madness. There are many reasons for the narrator's ill fortune but the main one being the yellow wallpaper. This element that is hardly given a second glance by any other individual is the sole cause for the narrator's psychosis.
Often times what is intended to help can hinder. Positive intentions do not always bring about desirable effects. The narrator is forced into an abandoned and dull room in an attempt to have herself freed of her ailment. This short story was written in an era in which these practices would be considered beneficial. The narrator's husband, a doctor adheres to this belief and prescribes his wife a summer of isolation and seclusion.
Rather than curing the narrator of her mental disorder, the therapy only adds to its effects, pushing her into a state of terrible depression.
Recently giving birth to a child, the narrator is suffering from post-partum depression. At this point in time, the illness was not widely researched, and cures for it were just plain bed rest. The room that the narrator is imprisoned in undoubtedly was not helping her state of mind. The bars on the windows and the bed bolted to the floor made her feel trapped and her husband even forbade her to be writing; an outlet that could have only ultimately helped her out. The bars are symbolic of the division of men and women and how women at the time were being held back. This story was written from a feministic point of view and alludes a great deal to aspects of it. There...