The Yellow Wallpaper

Essay by castivd November 2014

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Victor Castillo

Jacquelyn Harrah

English 1302-4025

October 23, 2014

The Non-Understandable

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story that tells of a woman who is struggling with depression. Although Gilman may not tell you straight forward, you can see it throughout the story. As the woman is trying to recover for her depression her husband has a tremendous amount of control over her. Linda Wagner-Martin wrote a scholarly article that indicated how men could not relate to this short story as well as women could. One can agree with her conclusion that men could not understand a woman's experiences completely.

Throughout the story the woman, Jane, is having a hard time coping with having a child. She and her family moved houses due to her weak mental state. Her husband, who happens to be her doctor, says he is trying to treat her to make her better.

He restricts her to just about nothing. She was not allowed to go outside, write in her journal, or even do physical activities. This is an excellent example of how much control Jane's husband, John, had over her. For Jane not to be allowed to do a simple task like writing her thoughts in a journal had to have had a big toll on Jane. Jane's husband said he was helping her to recover but his methods are making her mental state worse. If her husband would have let her write a journal of her thoughts and then read them afterwards it would have given him a better understanding of her mental state.

In Wagner-Martin's article she says that a male reader would signify important values as insignificant. A man can read the short story and completely ignore the values that women seem to identify more than...