The Victorian Womans Insane Treatment in Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper"

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Kamara Bellis Buckner English 1301 25 JUN 09 The Victorian Woman’s Insane Treatment in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” During the Victorian era, woman were to be dependant and obedient of their husbands. They were not allowed to pursue careers or interests. Gilman, being a woman of this time experienced this oppression first hand. She had been diagnosed with a nervous condition and was ordered to bed rest after the birth of her child. This ill-fated treatment prescribed by her physician Weir Mitchell, whom she referenced in her story, drove her to the brink of insanity. Gilman illustrates the insanity inflicted on woman by the oppression of their society. Jane, the narrator, has been brought to a country manor by her husband John; being a well know physician, he has diagnosed her with “temporary nervous depression” (531). His remedy is “tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise” (531), and absolutely has forbidden her to work or write. She believes “congenial work” (531) would be good for her but she does not dare go against her husband. However, she continues to write “in spite of [him]” (531). She has trouble keeping this little secret as it “exhaust [her] a good deal” (531). Not to mention, the knowledge that if she is caught she will be met with “heavy opposition” (531). John is away “all day and even some nights with serious cases” (533). Her husband “does not believe [her] sick” (531) conveying the meaning behind the bed rest is a way to control her rather than to cure an illness. The country manor is isolated sitting away from the road and three miles from town. It’s surrounded by walls and hedges and gates that lock. She also makes mention of it seeming haunted and queer. Illustrations parallel to her life isolated and haunted. The seclusion continues to the inside of the manor. Even though she wanted a room downstairs with roses

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