The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

May 13, 2011
By Kerilyn Bullock BRONZE, Marysville, Washington
Kerilyn Bullock BRONZE, Marysville, Washington
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Yellow Wallpaper was not only for the purpose of entertainment via reading, it

was written to get a specific message-or rather messages to the modern world in the late

1800’s to the 19th century.

The story tells about a woman who slowly goes insane in her own home, due to

the infamous ‘rest cure’. The rest cure was basically where you weren’t aloud to see

much of the outside world, and you definitely couldn’t do anything, except for eat-when

not fed by another-, and very very simple and mindless things. The medical practices

were often barbaric, employing methods that had been used for centuries, with little

improvements and often killing the patient with a different affliction than the original

ailment. Most doctors and surgeons were hesitant to try new methods of doing their job,

or trying out new theories, so they stuck to their old way of practicing, the old and

uncertain practice. Many substances were used in the 19th century, some of which were

harmful in the long run; such as mercury and lead.

In the story; the Yellow Wallpaper, it showed how women weren’t treated as

respected as they should’ve been. The woman in the story was treated like a child by her

husband; quite embaressing if you ask me. But women in those days got to enjoy very

little of what we take for granted today. Like being able to vote, suing, or being sued

they couldn’t testify in court, had extremely limited control over personal property after

marrige, were rarely granted legal custody of their children in cases of divorce, and were

barred from institutions of higher practice. They were left to simpler jobs. Middle-class

women and higher-class women generally stayed at home, taking care of their kids, and

basically ran the household. Lower-class women, however, often did work outside the

home, but usually as poor-paid maid’s/servants, or laborers in factories and mills.

The author wanted to make sure that no one ended up like the crazy lady in the

story. She also made points to address women’s rights. If they had to stay home all day,

sure they’d all go crazy. If they had more job opportunities, they could contribute to

society rather than be locked away from it.

And that, is what I got out of the Yellow Wallpaper. A brilliant story, with a very

powerful…and quite embedded message.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!