The Interpretation of Women in the Nineteenth Century
A short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “The Yellow Wallpaper” takes place in the late nineteenth century in America. The story illustrates the protagonist inner thoughts towards her husband’s dominating support when she suffers from post partum depression after her first child. Her Husband, who is also her doctor follows American physician S. Weir Mitchell “Rest Cure” which is a medical treatment to bed rest and refrain from any physical activity was only referred to women because, they were looked to the men as delicate human beings. The narrator was isolated from her child and society, most importantly she was a gifted writer whom hid writings in her journal from her husband because, he thought of writing as a mental strain. In this short story, the author makes distinguishing views between what was the norm of the male and female in the late nineteenth century that ensured women remained second class citizens (Shumaker, p.598) and thus the relationship between the doctor-husband and patient-wife. The protagonist’s nervous depression and hysterical tendency was viewed by society as a woman getting out of line and, not respectable. At the time perhaps post partum depression wasn’t diagnosed properly, therefore women were questionable of their individual characteristics due to society’s ideal norm of a “housewife”. John implied that the only permitted companionship his wife is allowed to have near her are, Mary and Jennie, the narrator’s assistants because they’re good with the baby and perfect housekeepers. John was so sure that he knows what’s best for his wife that he disregarded her own opinion, forcing her to hide her true feelings and treated his wife as a child by calling her “blessed little goose” signifying that she was too vulnerable to know what is best for her own sake (Gilman 55).According to Jane Atterdige Rose, “The story reveals that this...
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