The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Her Psychology of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Since its publication in New England Magazine in 1891, The Yellow Wallpaper has been one of the most contested and most analyzed pieces of literature. Literary critics have looked at the piece from many different perspectives including feminist and anti-feminist perspectives, psychological perspectives, and even perspectives looking at The Yellow Wallpaper as a science- fiction piece. Many analysts have even claimed that the work’s narrator is a direct reflection of
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her political view on psychology of the time. However, most frequently, there have been two major critical psychological perspectives: psychology from a literary perspective, which tends to
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After suffering for some time, Gilman sought out Doctor S. Weir Mitchell for medical treatment. S. Weir Mitchell was one of the leading psychiatric doctors of the time, specializing in nervous and hysterical habits of women. Mitchell prescribed to her the rest cure in which Gilman was directed to “lives as domestic a life as far as possible,” to “have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,” and to “never
Fellows 2 touch pen, brush or pencil as long as [she] lived” (Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”). She followed the rest cure diligently for a number of months without satisfactory results before deciding to abandon it. She later decided that her marriage was not helping her mental health and she left her husband to go live in California with her daughter, where she was involved in many feminist groups. This is where she began her career as a writer and an activist for women.
Although she is very famous for her works as a writer, more of Gilman’s energy was focused on being an activist and lecturer on her own feminist theories. Gilman returned to the east just before the turn of the century and married her first cousin George Houghton Gilman in 1900
(after having divorced her first husband). Charlotte’s marriage with George was happier than her first marriage and lasted until his death in 1934. Charlotte was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and died in 1935 after having euthanized herself to end her suffering.

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