The Yellow Wallpaper was written in 1892. Back then, women did not have the fundamental right to be responsible for their lives and well-being. Men were the ones to decide what a woman should do or say. Gilman wrote her story to claim women to be independent and their voices worthy of attention.
The story is based on the author’s experience with postpartum depression and the ways of treating it. The rest cure treatment was popular for women who suffered from nervousness and depressive state. Their relatives excluded them from ordinary life. The narrator’s husband decided the best way to fight her mental illness would be isolating her from the world. John made her rest and sleep for most of the day. The author’s message is clear: this method does not work.
The story’s purpose is to explain how harmful it is to neglect a woman’s striving for self-growth and development. The narrator has nothing else to do but lay down all day and stare at the yellow walls in her room. There is no mental activity other than analyzing their patterns and reflections. It leads to the woman’s insanity. This example shows the tragic outcome of neglecting women’s birthright to be free and autonomous. Men should not be the ones dictating women how to live – this is what women have a right to decide for themselves.
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