Insanity In The Yellow Wallpaper

Words: 960
Pages: 4

Throughout history, those who strayed away from the social norms of the time have been considered to be strange. Most of the time, society labels these people as mentally insane but does not bother to find the cause of the insanity or if there is a reason for the madness. If one was a woman, then society was often more judgemental. Nineteenth century authors such as Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Susan Glaspell illustrate female characters, Mrs. Mallard, John’s wife, and Mrs. Wright, who are considered to be insane by the public. The women in all of the short stories are unfairly judged by the public for their actions, but they did have reason to act the way they did. The main female characters’ apparent insanity and madness in Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” are both justifiable and …show more content…
Mallard is seen as strange in “Story of an Hour,” so is the wife of a man named John in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The wife of John is considered by all to have a shaky state of mind, not insane. However, her madness is warranted and escalates due to the yellow wallpaper and her husband’s treatment of her. The main character feels absolutely helpless because no one believes her when she says she is sick. Her own husband “assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 648). On some level, John’s wife realizes that the yellow wallpaper is making her worse; however, as the story progresses, she believes that it is helping her, a sure sign of its harmful effects on her. The woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” reaches the brink of insanity and succumbs to it, but her husband is to blame. The madness of John’s wife is not her fault; it is the result of the choices her husband makes for her. The main character has justification to be insane, and the yellow wallpaper is not the only cause of her