The narrator personifies female weakness and submission in a patriarchal society. A woman was diagnosed with a mental disease and treated at home by her husband. She was locked in a terrible room for three months.
The Yellow Wallpaper is a series of diary notes written by a young woman. She wrote it during her three months in a secluded countryside mansion. Her husband is a successful doctor with a high position in society. He brings the narrator there for the summer to improve her health. He is guided by the principles of the so-called “Rest Cure” developed by Dr. S. Mitchell.
The man deprives his wife of society, books, and amusement. He leaves the woman alone for a long time. The narrator secretly disagrees with her husband and keeps a diary. The image of the husband having unlimited authority relates to the patriarchal order. He disciplines the woman with various medical practices.
The Yellow Wallpaper scrutinizes doctors’ attitudes toward women and mental illness. People viewed women as weak and nervous beings. This opinion prevailed in the medical community that ignored issues like postpartum depression. Gilman became an icon of feminism. She explores women’s place in marriage and medicine and the importance of self-expression and free thought.