Who Is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper?

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, is a story that tells the unspoken truths of women in a time when such things as depression and mental illness were not to be spoken of. This story depicts how women with depression and mental illness were hidden from public view just as unwed mothers and people with disabilities were. Gilman uses the story to show how men viewed and responded to the emotional and mental health of women and how not listening to one’s own voice can be life threatening. The main focus of Charlotte Gilman’s story is how the emotional and mental health of women can be overlooked, ignored and the dangers that such behaviors cause. In 1899, women were looked at as delicate beings that only needed rest to cure what ailments afflicted them. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the woman was handled and spoken to like a child. She was made to believe that she knew nothing of her own body and feelings. She was influenced by her husband to feel…show more content…
She knows that she is “dreadfully depressed” but because John feels there is no reason for her to be unhappy then she can’t be unhappy. “He said I was his darling and his comfort and all he had, and that I must take care of myself for his sake, and keep well. He says no one but myself can help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let any silly fancies run away with me” (Gilman, 1899). He does everything he can do to change her mind into thinking that it is nothing and wants nothing to influence her nervous ways, not wallpaper nor writing in a journal. The woman’s feelings of hopelessness can be felt in this quote….. “If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression--a slight hysterical tendency-- what is one to do?” (Gilman,
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