Insanity Represented By Perkins And Faulkner

1963 words - 8 pages

Thesis: Charolette Perkins and William Faulkner used mental illness as a basis for their short stories.Insanity, a state of madness, one?s inability to reason, a mental deterioration, an illness that can rob a person of their well being. Mental illness has long been a misunderstood disease. Unless a person has suffered with mental illness he or she cannot begin to comprehend the devastating effects of the disease. Many people attempt to understand mental illness by writing about their observations and perceptions of the illness. William Faulkner and Charolette Perkins Gilman are two such authors.William Faulkner?s short story, ?A Rose for Emily? deals with a woman who becomes withdrawn from society the last forty years of her life, and the townspeople learn about the true extent of her madness after her death. In Charolette Gilman?s short story, ?The Yellow Wallpaper?, a woman is depressed and her husband believes isolating her is the best therapy for her illness. The reader is given the opportunity to follow her descent into madness. In the end, both stories rouse the emotions, and one can only wonder about the torture these women?s minds endured.A mental illness, specifically depression, affects five percent of the adult population in any given year. At times in any one?s life, people can experience symptoms of depression but these symptoms are only temporary. A major depressive illness can last for months or years, and if untreated can be fatal. Major depressive illness interferes with a person?s ability to think or behave rationally; it affects their mood and health, and limits their physical activities. It affects twice as many women compared to men, and it is the leading cause of medical disabilities (Major Depression).The symptoms of depression can take a long time to become noticeable to the person or people close to the person affected. Symptoms often include: sleep and eating disorders, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, and emptiness, inability to concentrate, loss of interest in things or activities once enjoyed, and persistent overwhelming feeling of sadness that the person cannot escape (Major Depression).Scientist?s haven?t been able to identify one single cause of depression. It is believed that there are many physical, biological or environmental factors that may dispose a person to depression. Life events such as loss of a loved one might precede a depressive illness. Depression can occur more often in some families but whether it is caused by genetics or by the family dynamics it isn?t truly understood. Some illnesses can cause depression, and the birth of a baby can cause postpartum depression in some women (Major depression) .Ten to fifteen percent of women after the birth of their child experience some form of postnatal depression. Usually, the symptoms occur within the first six weeks after delivery, and can last more than six months. A woman begins to doubt her abilities to be a mother and will often distance...

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