Charlotte Perkins Gilman is best known for being a feminist activist in her era. She began writing fiction later in life. Charlotte’s writings frequently reflect her point of view, according to information in her Norton Anthology biography. The Yellow Wallpaper is a brief narrative designed to combat the modus operandi for treating depression during that period.
The treatment was to be wholly disconnected from any intellectual or artistic interests. Her addition to the tale also emphasizes that she went through the same punishment. The goal of Gilman’s story was to provide a social corrective through writing it. What we have today is a masterpiece of psychological suspense as a result of this cure.
The Yellow Wallpaper drama follows the story of a woman who spends the summer at home in a mansion with her husband and doctor. Her spouse, a physician, confines her to the room. It’s part of a rest cure for “temporary nervous depression” following childbirth. This therapy drives her insane. Nothing and no one appears to help or relax her.)
The story’s narrator is a middle-aged woman who spends the summer of her youth in an old mansion’s ex-nursery room. Her spouse, a physician, confines her to the home as part of his rest cure. It was one of the most popular treatments for “temporary nervous depression” after childbirth. But this dreary environment does not aid her recovery. It drives her insane.
The physician’s wife tells the tale, which is seen through her eyes. She suffers from “hysterical” symptoms similar to many other women in her era. Her husband recommends that she take a rest cure. It consists of confinement, isolation, and a meat-based diet for the purpose of recovery. John leases an ancient manor during the summer in order to force her to remain in the same room.
At first, the mansion is adored by the protagonist. It is to her a mystifying Gothic backdrop. She wonders how they were able to rent it so inexpensively. There could be something supernatural in there. But the answer is prosaic. On top of inheritance issues, the home is now in disrepair. Its state of decay adds to the tale’s imagery. As a result, the location reflects the main character’s mental condition while under neglect and abuse from her husband.
The mansion’s significance extends beyond its superficial appearance in the tale. It is a symbol of the traditional female lifestyle, which was believed to be superior. The woman’s physical and mental frailty is represented by the structure, which confines her inside. However, the monotony and isolation serve to aggravate her health issues rather than remedy them. It is an oppressive and outdated building that is already crumbling before our eyes. We see the lunacy of attempting to preserve her there for her own good.
The significance of the colonial mansion to the plot extends beyond its appearance. It is a concrete example of home life. Men felt it was important for women. Her husband locks her in the mansion because to her physical and mental frailty. Monotony and isolation exacerbate the protagonist’s sickness, not cure it. It’s an ineffectual ancient structure that belies our attempts to keep wives there for their excellence.