The Yellow Wallpaper
The Yellow Wallpaper
This is a story about a woman and her husband John. The story is narrated in the first person where the woman is the narrator. It begins with the narrator and her husband who have rented a mansion for the holidays. The mansion is lovely, but the narrator thinks it has a problem, which she has not yet figured out. As the story continues, it is explained why the two decided to rent the house for the summer. John wanted to cure his wife of the illness she has been having (Gilman, 1913). The only way he could do this was when they were away from the city life. He administers some medicine to her and orders her not to write. However, her opinion is that when she is writing she is going to be cured quickly (Gilman, 1913). Therefore, she does writing in secret of her husband. During her stay in the house, she is confined to one room upstairs that used to be a nursery. In the house, there is yellow wallpaper that disturbs her. She starts to think that the wallpaper smells. Additionally she finds it creepy the way the wallpaper mutates in the moonlight and leaves someone with the yellow once it is touched. As they are about to leave the house, in their last day, she locks herself in the room and starts to remove the paper. When her husband comes and tells her to open, she does not. Her husband finds the key and opens. He faints on seeing what his wife has turned into and the story ends (Gilman, 1913).
The author of the yellow paper is explaining to the many people who asked the question as to why she wrote the story. According to her explanation, she wrote the book to explain how she suffered a disease that almost led her to become mentally ill (Lavender, 1999). As she explains, she tells how her physician, one of the best in the world, had given her a prescription that would offer her rest. She was supposed to live a domestic life where she could only have two hours of activity. Additionally, she was advised to stop writing again. She obeyed the physician and did this for more than three months. At this time, she was almost going crazy, but before she could do so, she resolved to flip back to her normal life and work like a normal person. This resulted to her recovering fully from the prescription that almost drove her insane. In a lot of joy, the author decided to write the story of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’ However, many doctors do not agree with this story thus claiming that it is a disgrace to the medical society. On the other hand, there are those who have acknowledged this story and find it as helpful information in the medical world (Lavender, 1999).
Finally, Doctor Silas Weir Mitchell who prescribed the rest treatment answers the questions that were in many people’s heads by analyzing the prescription and how the prescription works until the patient is healed. According to Doctor Mitchell, the rest should be first administered to patients for six weeks to two months. However, there are certain cases that it is administered for four to five weeks. Often, the patient is not permitted to write or read anything. According to the rest treatment, the patients are not supposed to do anything but brush their teeth. The patients are expected to lie in bed without any movements. The nurses are expected to move the patient while in bed at all times. In this case, they are supposed to lift the patient gently and turn him or her to the new position (Mitchell 1884). The patient is not expected to sit up at any time. The feeding is done by the nurses in accordance to the timetable. When the patient wants to release the bowel and water, it should be done while lying down in bed. On some occasions, he or she can sit upright to make it easy. A sponge bath is often given to the patient while in bed with the assistance of the nurse. In this case, they are taken slowly from the bed and new beddings are put on the bed. On occasions, the patient should read something for about three hours. According to the doctor, if the physician has the confidence and respect of his or her patient, he or she has the power to administer the rest treatment at ease. It is required that the nurses and the doctors should not speak to the patient about any pains. The patients should establish this by themselves (Mitchell, 1884).
Gilman, C. P. (1913). The Yellow Wallpaper. The Forerunner. Retrieved from: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/wallpaper.html
Lavender, C. (1999). Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Why I wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” (1913). The City University Of New York. Retrieved from: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/whyyw.html
Mitchell SW. (1884). Fat and blood: an essay on the treatment of certain forms of neurasthenia and hysteria. London: Lippincot.
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