“The Yellow wallpaper”depicts women’s struggle of independence and personal identity at the rise offeminism. Especially in the nineteenth century, women were kept down and keptin line by their married men as well as other male influences.
“The YellowWallpaper”, written By Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a tale of a woman, herpsychological difficulties and her husbands so called therapeutic treatment’rest cure’ of her depression during the late 1800s. The tale starts out in thesummer with a young woman and her husband travelling for the healing powers ofbeing out from writing, which only appears to aggravate her condition. Hisdelusion gets Jane, trapped in a room, shut up in a bed making her gopsychotic. As the tale opens, she begins to imagine a woman inside ‘the yellowwallpaper’. “The YellowWallpaper,” is a larger-than-life version of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ownpersonal experiences.
She grieved for several years in depression, as herphysician diagnosed her with “neurasthenia” and prescribed the “restcure” seen in the story. Unable to write or seek company, Gilman’s restdrove her insane for three months. Gilman wrote the story not simply to changeone man’s view of neurasthenia, but to utilize the floor as a symbol of theoppression of women in a patriarchal society as mentioned in her article “Why IWrote The Yellow Wallpaper”. During the Victorian era,men demarcated women’s roles. A woman was believed to be incapable of hiringdecisions for herself without an adult male to pass her. The author, CharlottePerkins Gilman, delineates the life of an intelligent, youthful woman who is amarried woman and mother.
She brings her role as the fostering mother, yet isobedient to the patriarchal head. The lady suffers from a psychiatric diseasethat makes her have delusions, and dejected. The patriarchal head, John, is aphysician and assumes full responsibility for his wife’s care and diagnosis. Jane’sbrother, who is also a physician, makes a diagnosis that is in accord withJohn’s, thus rendering her no choice only to subject herself to the torment ofthe yellow wallpaper room. The reader accepts that John is not a psychiatricdoctor by the side comment the main character names “John is a physician, andperhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster.”(p.
704) John’s treatmentfor his wife’s disorder is The Rest cure. The medical profession’s superhuman defiancein “The Yellow Wallpaper” determines man’s egotism during this period towards women.The delusions in the protagonist’s head continued to manifest in its seclusion.
Because of the wife’s obedience and respect to her husband’s “Rest Cure”, herdisorder becomes gradually worse. If the disorder is left untreated, it willmanifest and become unfathomable within the victim’s mind.Woman?s place was in thehome. Their purpose was to be busy at those ethically uplifting tasks expectedat sustaining and living up to her piety and honor as mentioned in “The Cult ofTrue Womanhood” by Barbara Welter.
The article puts lights on the issuance of awoman’s struggle against male – centric thinking and societal ‘norms’. Men visitedthe idea on women that they were emotional retainers that must trail their guidingprinciple and remain inside the house. Those who steppedoutside of the “home” arena and into the “public” domain where “they did notbelong” were looked upon by society as recluses. Women wanted to overturn thetraditional definition of women’s roles, but challenged with obstruction. Butas the author Charlotte Perkins Gilman struggled to give away the constraintsof patriarchal order in society to be able to write, the main character feelspressured to hide her writing, “I did write for a while in spite of them; butit DOES exhaust me a honest bargain–having to be so slick about it, or elsemeet with great resistance”(p. 707).
She hides her writing in a small table sothat her husband (John) does not study the emotional entries she makes articulatingthe frustration and imprisonment she feels. Inthe tale, the yellow wallpaper is something that involves the narratordirectly. It symbolizes something to her which she must learn and see. She mustinterpret the wallpaper to know what it stands for. The author viewed yellowwallpaper as simply hostile, torn, muddy, and an “tainted yellow.
” As thenarrative proceeds, the blueprint of the wallpaper is which catches thenarrator’s eye as she attempts to calculate out how it is coordinated. Afterstaring and gazing at the wallpaper for many long hours, from the bars in thepattern she finds a shape of a woman struggling to burst free and get away fromthem. Understandably, the wallpaper represents the social system of family,medical profession, and custom in which the narrator finds herself imprisoned. Theauthor expertly uses this terrifying, repulsive paper as a symbol of the lifethat traps so many women. Jane in anxiety states “John laughs at me about thiswallpaper”.
So, if the woman can expect to get chuckled at in her marriage, itwould be inconceivable for her to talk to her husband, and convince him tochange his diagnosis of her, particularly because he is a physician. Indeed,male-centric opinion becomes even more dominant when it appears that all threedifferent men in the tale who are close to her prescribe the similar “restcure” for her.