DISCOURSES IN THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE NARRATOR’S INSANITY Cover Image
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DISCOURSES IN THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE NARRATOR’S INSANITY
DISCOURSES IN THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE NARRATOR’S INSANITY

Author(s): Amina Arnautović
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Fakultet humanističkih nauka, Univerzitet »Džemal Bijedić« u Mostaru
Keywords: autobiography; postpartum depression; Dr. S. Weir Mitchell´s Rest Cure; discourse; Victorian discourse; discursive structures surrounding hysteria; discourse of authority; the discourse relating to the wallpaper; insanity

Summary/Abstract: In her fictional short story The Yellow Wallpaper, which is much autobiographical, Charlotte Perkins Gilman dramatizes the traumatic experience of her nervous breakdown after the birth of her daughter. The cure for her postpartum depression prescribed by the prominent physician Dr. S. Weir Mitchell was to rest and do nothing. Adhering rigidly to Dr. Mitchell´s advice for months resulted in Gilman´s perpetually worsening state. Luckily, Gilman managed to escape total insanity, something which the narrator of her story didn’t do. One of the purposes of writing this short story was to convince Dr. Mitchell of his mistakes. Instead of attributing the narrator´s ultimate madness purely to Dr. Mitchell´s methods of treatment, I believe her madness is also attributable to the bounds and restrictions of the numerous different, specifically Victorian, discourses in The Yellow Wallpaper, which are analyzed in the following essay.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 07
  • Page Range: 155-170
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English