Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/5344
Behind The Wallpaper The feminist point of view in the story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a very effective writer in the beginning of the 19th century. She was an outspoken feminist and fought for women all her life. She wrote stories and articles in newspapers about women´s condition in the male dominant society. She is most often remembered for her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” which emphasized on the terrible effects that enforced isolation can have on women when they are forced to lie in bed for a long time with no stimulation of any kind. Gilman herself had a very similar experience as the narrator in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. She suffered from postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter. She was treated by a well known physician Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell with the so called “rest cure” treatment, which meant that the patient had to stay in bed for a long time doing nothing. This method was very popular and many women suffering from mental illness were treated by it in Gilman´s time.
Gilman decided to write the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” in order to get her point across that locking women inside a room for a long period of time, leaving them alone with their own thoughts and without any connection to other people could have devastating effects on their mental health. Gilman used a powerful symbol in her story, the wallpaper in the protagonist room, to make the story more horrifying and to show how the narrator´s madness slowly becomes clearer. But most of all she wanted to point out to the world women´s poor situation in a world controlled by men.