Yellow Wallpaper Mental Health

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is the type of short story that intrigues the reader and isn’t exactly what it seems like at first glance. It is full of hidden meanings and leaves the road open to many different interpretations. But one thing every reader will probably agree on is that the mental health of the narrator of the story seems to be deteriorating towards the end of the short story. The author uses this to show exactly how she is being restricted by her husband and many other men in her life. Times were different back then, and unfortunately women weren’t treated as fairly as men were. They were considered weak, fragile things that needed to be cared for by a man. Therefore, society imposed certain limitations on women. In this story, the…show more content…
Soon she realized she couldn’t share any of these stories with her husband though, because he told her “not to give way to fancy…” since she had quite a habit of story-making and a “nervous weakness” like hers may lead to other “fancies.” (Gilman 293) That can be viewed as an attempt to stifle her creativeness. It’s almost as if he wants to make her believe she really is crazy. In his mind, all she is doing is imagining things. It also seems as if he wants to completely control her. So far, he does. He controls where she stays, when she eats, who she can see, and what she is allowed to do. He uses her “illness” as an excuse to exert his power over her. She is a fragile little woman who needs to be guided by her strong husband. She subconsciously grows tired of this and tries to escape this control he holds over her. But she is unable to do it outright, and she really doesn’t even realize she wants to escape. He has taken over her ability to think for herself. So when she sees the disgusting yellow wallpaper, she quickly imagines a woman behind it. She sees a woman who is trying to escape. “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still.” (Gilman 297) In the mornings, this woman behind the wallpaper is kept from her escape by the pattern in front of her. That pattern is the narrator’s husband. She detaches herself from this woman because only subconsciously does she realize she has to escape. Towards the end of the story, it is obvious the two women are actually one and the
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