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Effects Of The Lack Of Power And Control In Female Patients

891 words - 4 pages

Effects of the Lack of Power and Control in Female Patients
In the late 19th century, many women were diagnosed with insanity, dementia, and other mental disorders. Although a large portion of these diagnoses were accurate, many of the female patients were mishandled and given the wrong prescriptions. Some treatments included locking patients in an empty room and forcing them to take medicine that either had no effect, or exacerbated the situation. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, demonstrates this corruption and goes into detail on how a female patient’s lack of power and control is detrimental to her mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Throughout “The Yellow ...view middle of the document...

It typically results from a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” having recently delivered a baby is most likely suffering from postpartum depression. The failed diagnosis led to the narrator’s baby being nurtured by a nursemaid. As a result of her inability to care for her own child, the narrator descended into emotional chaos as would be expected of any mother. Another case of the narrator’s emotional deterioration results from her being “deprived of the freedom to write openly, which she believes would be therapeutic,” (Werlock2). Without writing, the narrator looks to her room for guidance. She develops an emotional attachment for the yellow wallpaper as it “both intrigues and repels her; it becomes the medium on which she symbolically inscribes her ‘text.’” As the story progresses, “she detects a subpattern in the wallpaper that crystallizes into the image of an imprisoned woman attempting to escape.” Eventually, as her emotional distraught increases, “the narrator's identity merges with that of the entrapped woman, and together they frantically tear the paper from the walls.” The narrator’s postpartum depression and inability to write openly led her into an emotional insanity in which she became vulnerable and developed an obsession for the yellow wallpaper.
When the narrator was confined to her room, she also physically suffered. The room that she inhabited was both simple and dull with not much furniture and nothing to pass the time. The narrator had a clear lack of power and control as she was locked in a room by herself. While she often dismissed her physical problems to John, she did...

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