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Charlotte Perkins-Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a feminist short story. There were two main themes underlying Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s short story: Taking an awareness-based approach and a feminist perspective, she also suffers from mental depression, a problem that was not considered at that time.
The main character fights against masculine thinking, social norms, and standards throughout the story. In the story, a woman is the protagonist and speaker, and she is experiencing a mental breakdown.
It illustrates how medical doctors and society have treated and dealt with mental illness and depression in a closed-minded manner. As it explores the basic issues of women’s place in society and women’s rights in the 19th century, the meaning of the story is beyond belief.
In the end, his treatment approach led to her complete breakdown because he believed all she needed was rest.
In order to avoid physical activity and artistic inspiration, she is advised to limit her activities. She cannot read or write. She only needs to sleep, eat, and enjoy the fresh air on the plantation. Maintaining a subordinate relationship with his wife and making her believe she cannot make decisions on her own is how John keeps her in a subordinate position.
It was common in the 19th century for men to govern and deal with depression, which is a theme in Perkins-Gilman’s story. Isolating her from the things she loves and social contact in hopes that she will heal is causing her depression to worsen.
As the central character spends most of her time in the room where she spends most of her time, she becomes obsessed with its yellow wallpaper. After following the dull curves for a short distance, they suddenly jump off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unimaginable contradictions, and commit suicide after following them for so long.
This is the moment when the speaker become aware of the yellow wallpaper. Perhaps the yellow wallpaper serves as a distraction. She expresses her emotions and feelings, which she feels must remain private to John, in her writing. The central character begins to see a woman behind the yellow wallpaper after being confined to this room for a long period of time. Behind the wallpaper, the woman appears to be a captive.
In watching the yellow wallpaper so much at night when it changes so much, she has finally figured out who is behind it. A woman crawling around it shakes the pattern all about, so it turns out it moves! Occasionally, I think there are many women behind it, and sometimes there is only one. He was able to remove the wallpaper at the end of the story, after finding the courage to do so.
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