Yellow Wallpaper

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Mental instability causes people to be imprisoned by their thoughts; people with mental illnesses are incapable of living normal lives, and they can become consumed by their illness. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s character Jane struggles with overcoming insanity when she is confined in an asylum with yellow wallpaper. Jane faces her illness head on by releasing the woman in the wallpaper, and she escapes from her mental prison by doing so. Jane’s schizophrenia is revealed as she spends most of her time following patterns in the yellow wallpaper, hallucinates about a woman trapped in the wallpaper that she sees outside her windows, gives the paper human qualities, disconnects herself from the outside world, fantasizes that she is married to her therapist, and “vacations” at an insane asylum; she regains sanity as she emotionally and physically confronts her illness by freeing the woman in the wallpaper. Jane is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she is prohibited from leading a normal life until she recovers from her mental disorder. Schizophrenia causes her to become mentally imprisoned by her thoughts as she believes in a distorted view of reality. “So I take phosphates or phosphites- whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again” (Gilman. 1). Her schizophrenia denies her the right to resume her daily life. Jane’s symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and a skewed perception of reality are all caused by schizophrenia; the symptoms require her to be socially isolated. Jane chooses to sleep in the daytime so she can stay up all night and study the different patterns on the wallpaper that are revealed by the moonlight. Her illness allows Jane to see developing and changing patterns in the paper. “I don’t sleep much at night, for it is so interesting to watch developments; but I sleep a good deal in the daytime” (12). As Jane’s obsession with...
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