The Sickness Of The Yellow Wallpaper

1540 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 7 Pages
Chelsea Helms
Lauren Allen
English 101-Section 070
11 November 2014
The Sickness of “The Yellow Wallpaper” In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the main female character is diagnosed with a “nervous condition” and is forced to live in an isolated environment with only her husband and a select few people for the summer. Throughout the story, her husband John, who is also a physician, treats her much like a child because of her supposed illness. During the 1800s, psychology had not been defined as a modern social science. People, specifically women, who experienced some abnormal symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and nervousness, were often diagnosed with a “nervous condition” also called neurasthenia in the 1800s. Treatment of mentally ill patients began to change in the late 1800s because of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s reflection of her personal experiences in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In order to understand the impact of Gilman’s reflection on wrongful psychological treatment of the mentally ill in the 1800s, it is important to first understand the specific treatment she is referring to. A male doctor prescribes the narrator with a very strict regiment to follow after being diagnosed with a “nervous condition.” The treatment she undergoes in the short story goes hand in hand with a popular treatment of the late 1800s known as the “Rest Cure.” Neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell created this treatment for patients that were diagnosed with nervous illnesses…

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