The Yellow Wallpaper
There are many symptoms that arise when one is diagnosed with postpartum depression. Among the many is “obsessive-compulsive features, including intrusive, repetitive thoughts and anxiety.” You see this all throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it begins when the narrator first describes the strange patterns in the incredibly symbolic wallpaper in the room that was once a children’s nursery: “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow – turning sunlight.” When analyzing the first section of the passage, on realizes that she is referring to the invisible mask she has put on. She tries to hide that she is still deeply troubled by pretending to be happy and in control, however exhausting it may be. And yet, this “disease,” if you will, irritates her to no end, as does the wallpaper. She is angry with her husband in that he believes this disease isn’t as serious as it truly is. Anger towards one’s partner or other family members is also a symptom of postpartum depression. Then… she mentions something rather… striking. She says, “When you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.” Even after a short time of enduring severe depression, one can feel overwhelmed with sadness and grief, and they begin having reoccurring thoughts of suicide. She is afraid she is going to become insane, and take the “plunge…” perhaps off a bridge? Above all, she is afraid she is going to harm her newborn child. If, by her own hands, her baby is harmed, she will be destroyed from the inside- out because...
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