Charlotte Perkins Stetson married Charles Walter Stetson in 1884, and after the birth of their daughter Katharine in 1885, Charlotte underwent a bout of postpartum depression. Weir Silas Mitchell, a prominent neurologist, who prescribed her the “rest cure” for her ailment.During this treatment, Charlotte was not allowed to leave her bed, feed herself, or even turn herself over in bed.Stetson (later Gilman) became a champion for feminism and women moving into careers and roles beyond their homes.
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Social expectations in the nineteenth century encouraged a kind of pessimistic selflessness that could have resulted in a woman thinking of herself as nothing, as or worth less than nothing.
The geographic setting of "The Yellow Wallpaper" adds irony between what the main character does and the connotation you get when you "The color is repellent, almost revolting: a smouldering a sickly sulphur tint in others." (401) this quote shows that the main character is disgusted with the not only the color of the wallpaper, but also the she uses the word sulphur which evokes a rather grotesque smell in the reader.
Finally, the year that this story was published played a crucial role as to why the narrator never got the treatment for her illness.With nothing to stimulate the narrator, she becomes obsessed with observing the yellow wallpaper and imagining a crawling woman inside it.It becomes an inspiration for the narrator to find self-identity.For example, we can look at the first page of the book where the narrator says "You see, he does not believe I am sick! " (399) because her husband John is a physician he should be able to diagnose her properly, but yet he does not.He insists that she is only in a state of depression.This is indicative of the times because in 1892 men had the say in the house and women were to follow what the man says and to not speak up.If the main character would have spoken to someone else she might have gotten the proper treatment and avoided her most unfortunate situation.The "Yellow Wall Paper "by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a chilling study and experiment of mental disorder in nineteenth century.This is a story of a miserable wife, a young woman in anguish, stress surrounding her in the walls of her bedroom and under the control of her husband doctor, who had given her the treatment of isolation and rest.Charlotte Perkins Stetson was so incensed by the treatment prescribed to her by Dr.Mitchell that she ended up including him in her short story “The Yellow Wall-paper” and sending him a copy after it was published.