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The Yellow Wallpaper, Is the Protagonist Responsible for Her Condition

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jackson13
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The protagonist is not responsible for the predicament she is faced with.

I have chosen the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman as the basis for my essay. Within this paper, I will discuss to what extent the protagonist of the story is responsible for the predicament or conflict that she is faced with. The main character is in no way to blame for the dilemma that she is forced to deal with. This is clearly a case of mental illness and the treatment methods utilized by her doctor, who is also her husband, are only making her illness worse and driving her into a deeper state despair and more severe mental illness.

The main character had been sent to a large country estate for rest and recuperation from what had been diagnosed as a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency” (598). She describes the beautiful estate with its stunning green houses and gardens and the story begins as if this will be a summer vacation. The woman in the story speaks of having young children and also mentions a baby; her mental condition would have been more likely been a case of post partum depression. However, her doctor prescribes rest and isolation as a cure for her condition. The woman, who seems very imaginative and expressive, is forbidden from using her imagination in any way. The woman does begin to keep a secret diary to relieve her creative tenancies, however she is forced to hide it from her husband and her husband’s sister, if it was discovered it would be taken away.

As part of the treatment program the amount of external stimulation, creative expression and companionship is extremely limited, this further isolated her from the rest of the world. She then sinks all of her energy into fantasizing and obsessing about the yellow wallpaper. The woman’s condition begins to worsen as the story progresses; she eventually…...

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