Blind Obedience in The Yellow Wallpaper
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a fictionalized autobiographical story that illustrates the emotional deterioration of the female narrator who is also a wife and mother. The woman, who seemingly is suffering from post-partum depression, searches for some sort of peace in her male dominated world. She is given a “rest cure” from her husband/doctor, John, which requires strict bed rest and a prescribed forbidding from any mental stimulation. As a result of her husband’s controlling edicts, the woman develops an obsessive attachment to the intricate details of the wallpaper on her bedroom wall. The Narrator’s descent into insanity is the expense for her blind obedience in The Yellow Wallpaper. The levels of inequality within the marriage of the narrator and John are great. John is very controlling of his wife/patient, and she obeys his orders because she believes that “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 1). She fears that she is ill, but doubts herself because “[John} does not believe [she is] sick” (Gilman 1). Because she views John as an all-knowing man, he becomes the all-deciding party in their marriage. To add to the inequality, John denies her identity as a wife by allowing her to only become his patient, or at best a “little girl” (Gilman 7). Unfortunately, the narrator complies to her husband’s orders. She has respect for her domineering husband as a male authority figure and a “physician of high standing” (Gilman 1). Even though she disagreed with his method of treatment and rather believes “that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do [her] good”, not once does she confront him (Gilman 1). Instead of confronting him, she disobeys his orders only in her free time when he is not around....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document