The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Thesis

The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Thesis-32
“City-bred” women, Mitchell concluded, might be poorly equipped to fulfil the natural functions of motherhood.Gilman was treated with the “rest cure”, devised by Mitchell, as is the protagonist of the story; like an infant, she was dosed, fed at regular intervals and above all ordered to rest.

“City-bred” women, Mitchell concluded, might be poorly equipped to fulfil the natural functions of motherhood.Gilman was treated with the “rest cure”, devised by Mitchell, as is the protagonist of the story; like an infant, she was dosed, fed at regular intervals and above all ordered to rest.

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A copy was sent to Mitchell but did not receive a response.

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student.

The protagonist of the story might have been suffering from puerperal insanity, a severe form of mental illness labelled in the early 19th century and claimed by doctors to be triggered by the mental and physical strain of giving birth.

The condition captured the interest of both psychiatrists and obstetricians, and its treatment involved quietening the nervous system and restoring the strength of the patient.

Hilary Marland does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

“These nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing”, wrote Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper.“I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did? Her husband, on opening the door, collapses as the narrator declares: The Yellow Wallpaper illuminates the challenges of being a woman of ambition in the late 19th century.While all women were seen vulnerable, those who expressed political ambition (suffrage reformers), or who took on male roles and challenged female dress codes (New Women), or who sought higher education or creative lives – or even read too much fiction – could be accused of flouting female conventions and placing themselves at risk of mental illness.The narrator spends much of her days being cared for – and often left alone – in this room, reading, attempting to write (though the subterfuge this involved leaves her weary, she noted) and, increasingly, watching the wallpaper, as it starts to take on a life of its own.The story highlights the plight of many women during the 19th century.Though later gaining recognition as a journalist and social critic rather than an author of fiction, Gilman is best known for this brief and extraordinary piece of writing published in 1892.The Yellow Wallpaper enlightens the reader on women’s health, motherhood, mental breakdown and its treatment, as well as feminism and gender relations in late 19th-century America.Mitchell, largely through his treatment of Gilman and her later description of this, gained a notorious reputation, and he may well have misdiagnosed her or believed that her intellectual pursuits were too introspective.Yet historical scholarship has also suggested that some well-to-do and educated women might also have helped shape their own diagnoses or used their illness to avoid domestic duties that they found unpleasant or taxing.Not all doctors condemned women for their ambition – many advocated more rounded lives embracing intellectual and physical pursuits alongside domestic roles.Other patients treated by Mitchell, including the critic and historian Amelia Gere Mason and writer Sarah Butler Wister, tailored their treatments to suit their lifestyles, with Mitchell encouraging their intellectual and creative pursuits.

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