In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the author describes how a rest cure is inappropriate for a case like the narrator’s. The story uses irony to argue that the rest cure is unfitting: the confinement in a room where the character slowly falls into madness, her description of the wallpaper and her attraction for it and her gain of independence as she loses her sanity. The narrator is kept in a room which is supposed to make her feel better, but instead, she becomes even more insane as time passes. She closely pays attention to every detail on the wallpaper in the room; she describes it as horrible yet keeps staring at it. Throughout the story, the case of the narrator becomes more serious; however, she becomes more confident and independent away from her husband. The rest cure itself is ironic because instead of helping her recover from her illness, it makes her even more insane.
To begin, the author uses irony to show that the rest cure is wrong, that a confinement in a room does not help the narrator regain her sanity, as it is supposed to be. Instead, it makes her fall deeply into madness. John, her husband, is applying Dr. S. Weir Mitchell’s rest cure on the narrator, which refers to the author’s personal experience. He confines her in a room “to have the perfect rest,” (83), thus, it forbidden her “‘to work’ until [she is] well again,” (82). However, since she cannot do anything else but think, her imagination grows and this is how she develops her insanity. As she stays in her room, she gets “quite fond of the big room,” (85), but who would affectionate a room where “there are rings and thins in the walls” and “where the windows are barred,” (83), it clearly shows how her mental illness starts getting more serious. In brief, her imprisonment does not make her more sane, as it is supposed to be, but aggravates her case. To keep her busy, she starts observing the wallpaper.
Furthermore, her description of it and her...
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