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Sliding Towards Madness in Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper relays to the reader something more than a simple story of a woman at the mercy of the limited medical knowledge in the late 1800s Gilman creates a character that expresses real emotions and a psyche that can be examined in the context of modern understanding The Yellow Wallpaper written in first person and first published in 1892 in the January edition of the New England Magazine depicts the downward spiral of depression loss of control and competence and feelings of worthlessness which lead to greater depression and the possibility of schizophrenia This paper will explore two possible causes of the main characters madness These causes are the subjugating treatment inflicted upon her by her husband and the idea that the main character has clinical schizophrenia Additionally this paper will examine the parallels of Gilmans true-life experiences as compared to those of the main character The beginning emphasis will be on the interaction and roles of the husband and wife in The Yellow Wallpaper which are based on the male dominated times of the late 1800s The main character a woman whose name is never revealed tells us of the mental state of mind she is under and how her husband and his brother both physicians dismiss it You see he does not believe I am sick And what can one do If a physician of high standing and ones own husband assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression -- a slight hysterical tendency -- what is one to do 671 The doctors seem completely unable to admit that there might be more to her condition than just stress and a slight nervous disorder even when a summer in the country and weeks of bed-rest have not helped It might be thought that it is a simple matter
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