Experience Told Through Charlotte Perkins's Writing

1340 words - 6 pages

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrought The Yellow Wallpaper while she was recovering from her depression. She had suffered from the depression and to describe what she went through, she wrote the short story to describe her own experiences. The main treatment she was treated with, and the character in the short story were treated with, was the rest cure. In which it would last about six to eight weeks, which involved isolation from friends and family. In the story she is isolated for the most part when they are staying away from home for the summer months.
In The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator and her husband John have gone to a secluded estate, which they are renting for the summer. John a Doctor wanted her to rest as much as possible by following Dr. S. Weir Mitchell's “Rest Cure”. He also picked the room, which is an airy room on the top floor; she would have preferred the small pretty room on the ground floor, but he did not take her opinion due to he was the physician and knew best. The narrator does as she is told even if she is not found of the estate or the room she would be staying at. She has to rest all day and personally disagree with what she has to follow; she would rather spend her time writing, but her husband and other family members think it would not be beneficial to her. She also described the house in her journal, as mostly positive, but some disturbing elements such as the wallpaper which she thought was disgusting; she also becomes better at hiding her journal from John to continue writing. She complains about Johns controlling ways and how he discourages her from fantasizing of people walking the walkways and her imagination. She has a wonderful time during the fourth of July with her family, then her obsession grows with the sub-pattern of the wallpaper; John started to think her conditions is improving, but she is sleeping less and less. The sub-pattern has a woman creeping around and shaking the bars and the narrator says that sometimes she creeps as well. She thinks that John and his sister Jennie were aware of her obsession with the wallpaper and vows to destroy the paper by tearing it to free the woman that she sees struggling from inside. In the end she is insane and locked in her room, she is convinced that she came out of the wall "I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!". When John sees the full horror of the situation he faints in the doorway and that she creeps over him.
According to the Science Museum treatments that the narrator goes through are formulated for her type of situation by Silas Weir Mitchell that cured certain diseases and conditions. The treatment was for neurasthenia which is a medical condition characterized by: fatigue, headache, irritability, anxiety, and depressed mood; also hysteria which is an exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion. The rest cure would have a duration of six to eight weeks as a general time...

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