“The Yellow Wallpaper.” She portrays the struggles and hardships that women of that period experienced through brilliant uses of theme, mood, tone, and imagery. Another equally great author that used imagery and events that happened in real life to describe the struggles women faced was Susan Glaspell. Her short story “A Jury of Her Peers” tells a story of a woman whose oppressive husband was murdered in his sleep while his wife slept beside him and Glaspell uses subtle imagery through the entire story to portray her message. The center point of the “The Yellow Wallpaper” is the treatment known as the rest cure, which was a common practice for treating mental illnesses, and which acts as a symbol of oppression that the narrator battled with her husband over. Both Gilman and Glaspell use symbols throughout the story to help the reader understand the purpose of the piece of work and to connect the fictitious stories to real world problems. In the 1880s an American neurologist by the name of Silas Weir Mitchell developed the idea he called the rest cure. The rest cure treatment was prescribed predominantly to females who had shown signs of mental illness such as hysteria and postpartum depression (Oppenheim 1). The concept of the radical treatment was the patient was required to do as little as possible; they were rarely allowed to see family or friends, were bed ridden, and were fed by a nurse daily (Oppenheim 1). Many women received the rest cure as treatment over the years for various reasons, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman was one of them. This experience led her to write “The Yellow Wallpaper” and helped her connect with the story on a personal level. In the beginning of the story the narrator
Cited: Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” eds. The Norton Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. New York: Norton, 20120. Print. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins .“The Yellow Wallpaper.” eds. The Norton Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Print. Oppenheim, Jack. ed. The Rest Cure. Science Museum UK. N.p. May 2009. Web. April 5, 2012.