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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

684 words - 3 pages

The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has a very negative tone towards the treatment of mental patients in the late nineteenth century.
One of the first ways Gilman helps to deliver the subject about the treatment of mental patients is through irony. “So we took the nursery at the top of the house.” This at first seams very nonchalant when read over, however once the reader READS into it, the irony becomes very evident. How this full grown woman who has recently become a mother, must stay in the nursery, without her child because she is mentally ill. The negative tone comes into play when it is realized that she is being kept in the nursery because John, her husband and doctor, is treating her like a child and is forcing her to stay in the room designated of a child.
Gilman also her negative view on how mentally ill people are treated when she has the woman say “No wonder the children… I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long… he hates to have me write a word.” This only amplifies her point on how patients are treated because the woman’s doctor won’t let her write a word or do anything in fact., which only helps to further the problem by not letting them go out or do anything to keep themselves entertained. This treatment forces the patients to wallow in their thoughts and be forced to stay in a confined room all day, which eventually drives them to the brink of insanity ironically enough.
The woman’s mental degradation throughout the story becomes more pronounced as she is confined to her room more and more often. “… is torn off in spots…They must have had perseverance as well as hatred.” This single remark by the woman, helps to exemplify the very dramatic slide that her mental state is on. The treatment of isolation with out any work, that John her supposing loving husband has prescribed based on the current treatment...

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