The Oppressive Romance in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellowish Wallpaper"
In "The Yellow
Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the dominant/submissive
romance between an oppressive hubby and his submissive wife
pushes her from depression into insanity.
Flawed human nature
seems to play an excellent function in her breakdown. Her hubby, a noted
physician, is usually unwilling to admit that there could really be something
wrong along with his wife. This same frame of mind sometimes appears in her brother, who
is also your physician. While this frame of mind, and the actions taken
because of it, undoubtedly contributed to her breakdown; it appears to me
that there surely is a rebellious spirit in her. Perhaps unconsciously she
seems determined to show them to be wrong.
As the story
begins, the girl -- whose name we by no means learn -- tells of her
depression and how it really is dismissed by her partner and brother. "You
see, he will not believe I am ill! And what is one able to do? If a
physician of high position, and one's own spouse, assures friends
and family members that there is very nothing the problem with one but
temporary nervous depression -- hook hysterical
* * * * *
tendency -- what's
someone to do?" (Gilman 193). Both of these men -- both doctors -- seem
completely struggling to admit that there could possibly be more to her condition
than than simply stress and hook nervous condition. Even though a
summer in the united states and weeks of bed-rest don't support, her husband
refuses to acknowledge that she may own a genuine problem.