The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Depression

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In our world today there are a lot of people who deal with depression according to ADAA “322 million people worldwide live with depression. In 2014, around 15.7 million adults age 18 or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year (6.7% of adults in the U.S.)”. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman is a short story about a wife without a name fighting and tackling depression head-on. The wife in the story is secluded and confined in a room so that she can recover from her depression. This type of treatment was the idea of her husband John whose controlling personality persuade the wife to be on bed rest in an isolated room upstairs and prohibits her to do anything that would exercise the mind, which took her ability to enjoy and express any thoughts through her writing. At one point in time, the wife being able to express her imagination might have been enough to escape her depression but being forced to subdue her thoughts and create pretty much drove her to go insane. The wife is an example of a dynamic character by the change of her mental condition from her oppressed life, the yellow wallpaper, and search for an escape.

The wife treatment recovery forced her to repress any thoughts of her own she did however disagrees with john idea of treatment but kept her mouth shut and express it through her writing, “Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.” (Gillman 648). Her weak state of mind made her unable to take responsibility for making her own decisions take control of her depraved mind and sadly stays obedient to her isolation. During her imprisonment, her feelings of loneliness, emotional distress, and boredom cause her mental state to intensify and become even worse. The only thing thing that was keeping her sane was the writing she would do in secretes. While writing would release her from her sad life at the time, it also benefits her imagination to remain active. However, the husband tells the wife due that her “imaginative power and habit of story-making a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency, so I try.” (649). Unable to have an imagination leads her to become emotionally distressed and feeling of unfairness but she ends up ignoring her husband’s wishes and distracts herself with the yellow wallpaper in the room, developing a weird relationship with the paper that allows her to confess her suppressed feelings.

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