In the story "The Yellow Wall-Paper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, readers watch a woman as she descends into madness. The first time I read this story nothing more occurred to me than a woman with a mental condition finally lost it. Now that I have dug deep into the story I realized there is absolutely nothing wrong with the woman, except her husband. As a direct result of the way he treated her and constantly belittled her, out of loneliness and desperation she ended up going insane.
The story begins with the couple moving into a summer house. From the very beginning the main character was not all that fond of the house, but as will be explained later, her feelings were inconsequential. As the narrator describes the house, in one of her journal entries, this is also where she begins to refer to herself as being "sick".
The narrators husband John first demonstrated his insensitivity to his wives's feelings as they were moving in the house. While selecting a bedroom, she had wanted one downstairs. "I don't like our room a bit. I wanted one downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings! But John would not hear of it." As she paints a picture of the bedroom she had wanted, it juristically contrasted the one she ended up sharing with John.
Instead, John choose a room upstairs because it was larger. Instead of roses all over the windows, the narrator got bars on the windows. "It was a nursery first and then a playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls." Instead of looking outside into a small town, she...