“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist writer. The protagonist of the story is undergoing a “rest cure” in a room with yellow wallpaper. Throughout the story, she reflects on the wallpaper pattern and keeps a diary to note the progress of her condition. However, as the story progresses, her obsessive thoughts about the wallpaper design turn into hallucinations.
We can do it today.
Despite the protagonist’s efforts to convince herself that she is improving, her condition worsens, and her obsession with the wallpaper becomes a full-blown hallucination. The protagonist sees a silhouette of a woman behind the wallpaper and believes the figure is trying to escape the pattern. The protagonist begins to lose sleep and sees the woman as trapped in a cage behind the wallpaper.
The woman in the wallpaper eventually becomes a focal point for the protagonist, and she starts to believe that the woman is trying to get out. She eventually rips off a significant portion of the wallpaper to free the woman. Through the window, she sees a woman creeping along the alleys, confirming her belief in the woman behind the wallpaper’s existence.
Gilman wrote the story after experiencing a similar “rest cure.” Her doctor prescribed inaction and isolation as a treatment for nervous exhaustion after giving birth to her daughter. The story emphasizes the failure of this type of treatment and the damage it can cause to a person’s mental health.
Overall, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story that reflects the harmful effects of the “rest cure” treatment, which was once widely prescribed to women suffering from mental health issues. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and treating mental illness properly and the need for women to have autonomy over their own bodies and minds.
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