The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by CharlottePerkins Gilman, explain the condition of women in American society in 19thCentury. The story basically explores the condition of women suppression,gender emotional violence, and discrimination in between male and female in19th Century. In the feminist point of view, Charlotte Perkins Gilman raisesthe actual voice of women oppression and feminism. The story shows the cleartheme of how a husband and society treated about the wife or woman who issuffering from the postpartum depression. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the turn of20th century was a unique time for women. Feminism was beginning to questionabout the traditional roles of wife and mother.
This was also the time period,that saw the prevalence of the ”rest cure” adopted by Dr. W Mitchell and manyother practitioners of mental wellness in the treatment of hysteria. Theblanket turn used to cover the depression and other mental issues in womenconsisted of rest limited mental stimulation and suppression of creating Feminist writer Charlotte PerkinsGilman used imagery in symbolism along with her own experience to inspire hermasterpieces in the ” The Yellow Wallpaper” and bring to the light of thesubjugation of women in the home and benevolent dismissal of the women’s mentalhealth by the medical establishment. Gilman was raised by the single mother.
Her family was impoverished and often relied on extended family for aid thisinfluenced. Gilman, to believe that women should be able to support themselvesbut unfortunately the time period offered many obstacles to women seekingeconomic independence. Gilman herself suffered from the postpartum depressionand was resistant to the ”rest cure”.
she eventually divorced her husband andshe moved to California and then, later on, sent her young daughter back to herassessment to raised. She was unable to embrace the traditional role of wifeand mother. She realized her true calling and became a writer and a speaker fora women’s reform. Her significant works included her land. “The YellowWallpaper”, however, has been considered the Charlotte Perkins Gilman’smasterpieces. The story tells the narrator, who is suffering from thepostpartum depression.
Her husband John, who himself as a very talented, andfamous Physician but he always ignore to listen to his own wife thought and henever believed that she is truly ill. Jane, the Gilman’s narrator is cautious andhides her true self but she is honest in her writing in her journal from thestrange house. She and her husband John have rented for the summer. Her spouselaughs at her and helpless in the face of his patronizing and paternalisticattitude. John is gently domineering and stiffing. He limits his wife contactwith other and forbids her to work, which for Jane is writing so in secret.Today, this action would be considered as an emotional abuse.
However the time,it was considered to be the spouse than the husband’s wife over a spouse. Thenarrator redirects her unhappiness into a preoccupation with the houseparticularly the wallpaper of the nursery, that she stays in certain attributesof the nursery seem to reflect. The narrator’s madness is illustrated by herrelationship with the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom’s wall.
The yellow wallpaper,actually becomes an adversary and the object of Jane’s feeling of anger,regarding on her circumstances that she begins to see a hidden pattern whicheventually reveals itself to be a woman to break free from imprisonment. Itsimportant note is that the more, Jane is represented by her husband the morethe yellow wallpaper appears. The story illustrates to fact thatJane considered suicide but she rejects it and it’s important to note that thisis a very subtle illusion. “The Yellow Wallpaper” symbolized Jane’ssubjugation by John and his restrictions. The creeping woman is eventuallyrevealed to Jane herself as her condition deteriorates her struggle to releasethe woman become her own struggle for freedom but she is unable to free forherself and no longer recognizes herself as Jane. Charlotte Perkins Gilman exposed, howthe ideas of traditional marriage role were debilitating to some woman and shealso exposed the incontinence of the medical establishment regarding mental andwhat mental illness especially in women.
The Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s uniqueexperiences gave her a very powerful voice with which to forward her agenda.