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Descent Into Postpartum Psychosis; This Is A Nine Page Research Essay On The Short Story "The Yellow Wallpaper" We Had To Do An Analysis On The Story And Use Third Person.

2863 words - 11 pages

The story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written in the late eighteen hundreds. Women and illnesses are treated differently during this period, with men holding the power, especially in a marriage. Also, a woman follows her doctor's orders as well as listens to the husband when illness occurs. In this case, the woman in the story is under her husband's complete control because he is her physician as well. Her husband does not take her illness seriously; he just says it is a temporary "nervous disorder." A nervous disorder is now called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is an episode of despair that some women go through after giving birth. If left untreated or misdiagnosed, it turns into a more severe case of depression, called postpartum psychosis. Although postpartum psychosis is extremely rare today because it is diagnosed and treated properly, it still affects "one to two women per one-thousand births" (Seyfried and Marcus 231). In the eighteen hundreds, the author suffered from postpartum depression and overcame it. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" reflects her own personal experience through a woman who is descending into postpartum psychosis through hallucinations and delusions.Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is inspired by actual events in her life. According to Amy Hudock, "Charlotte Perkins Gilman used her personal bout with postpartum depression to create a powerful fictional narrative which has broad implications for women." Gilman wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper," so other women do not receive incorrect treatment and suffer as she did. Although the author did not suffer from postpartum psychosis, she wanted other women to be aware of the effects of it. Charlotte Perkins Gilman also wrote an essay called "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper," in which she explains, "the story was meant to save women from further suffering under the rest cure, and that her plan was successful" (Barth 1). She uses real people from her past as characters in her story. Dr. Weir Mitchell is not only a character in "The Yellow Wallpaper" but also Charlotte Perkins Gilman's doctor in real life. In the late eighteen hundreds, doctors were unaware of what type of condition she had, so they called it a "nervous disorder." The only way doctors knew how to deal with "nervous disorders" is complete rest. Dr. Weir Mitchell treats Gilman by prescribing the well-known "rest cure," just like the woman in the story. Unlike the poor woman in the story, Gilman was able to pull herself out of the state of depression, only because she ignored the rest cure after a few months (Ames). The woman in the story, however, does not ignore the treatment assigned to her, and begins to display signs of psychosis.The woman in the story displays the signs of postpartum psychosis as the story progresses. Encarta states, "Mental health professionals generally divide psychotic symptoms into three broad types: hallucinations, delusions, and...

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