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For the women in the twentieth century today who have more freedom than before and have not experienced the depressive life that Gilman lived from1860 to 1935 it is difficult to understand Gilmans situation and understand the significance of The Yellow Wallpaper Gilmans original purpose of writing the story was to have gained personal satisfaction if Dr S Weir Mitchell might change his treatment after reading the story However as Ann L Jane suggests The Yellow Wallpaper is the best crafted of her fiction a genuine literary piecethe most directly obviously self-consciously autobiographical of all her stories Introduction xvi More importantly Gilman says in her article in The Forerunner It was not intended to drive people crazy but to save people from being driven crazy and it worked 20 Therefore The Yellow Wallpaper is a revelation of Charlotte Perkins Gilmans own emotionsWhen the story first came out in 1892 the critics considered The Yellow Wallpaper as a portrayal of female insanity rather than a story that reveals an aspect of society In The Transcript a physician from Boston wrote Such a story ought not to be writtenit was enough to drive anyone mad to read it Gilman 19 This statement implies that any woman that would write something to show opposition to the dominant social values must have been insane In Gilmans time setting The ideal woman was not only assigned a social role that locked her into her home but she was also expected to like it to be cheerful and gay smiling and good humoredLane To Herland 109 Those women who rejected this role and pursued intellectual enlightenment and freedom would be scoffed alienated and even punished This is exactly what Gilman experienced when she tried to express her desire for independenceGilman expressed her emotional and psychological feelings of rejection from society for thinking freely in The Yellow Wallpaper which is a reaction to the fact that it was against the grain of
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