Many women in the 1860s to the 1930s were diagnosed with post-traumatic depression after giving birth. They had been dealt with through the “rest cure.” It inevitably drove many women insane. They were not allowed to do anything that involved thinking. They were only allowed to rest and “relax.” In the story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator, or main character, so-called Jane at the end of the story, is a woman dealing with post-traumatic depression. The narrator thinks that she is “sick” but the male population at the time says that she had a “slight hysterical tendency.” Her submissiveness to John, a weird obsession with the “horrid” yellow wallpaper, and her equivocal condition cause her to go completely insane to the end of the story.
The narrator is assigned to a yellow room where the windows were bare and the bed was immovable. As days go on and she studies the wallpaper she seems to becoming obsessed with it in some type of way. As the obsession grows she starts to see things in the wallpaper such as patterns, then she smells something, and then the narrator sees a woman inside the wallpaper. At that point she tries letting that woman in the yellow wallpaper out and during the process her insanity is growing.
As this process continues, Jane gradually loses her rationality and divert from reality. She notices a woman behind bars inside the wallpaper and starts biting and tearing at the paper in order to free the trapped woman, whom she sees struggling from inside the bar like patterns. At the end of the story, the narrator says, “I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”. Here we notice that Jane totally lost her sense of reality and gone insane. Her husband faints from seeing her wild and insane behaviors. Hence, due to Jane’s obsession with the yellow wallpaper, in the end she is hopelessly insane and convinced that there are many creeping women around and that she has herself come out of the wallpaper.
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