Pranesh and told her to rest well

Pranesh Chitrakar

Prof. Emily Packet

Eng. 102

17 January. 2018                                                  


Yellow Wallpaper”- An interpretation on Glilman’s Life

            Artists and the authors draw
inspiration for their work from their own personal experiences and their
perception of the world around them. Going through the short story “The Yellow
Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an article “Davis, Charlotte
Perkins: A Biography” by Catherine Seltzer and an essay “Why I Wrote The Yellow
Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gilman and the narrator in her short
story “The Yellow Wallpaper” are no different. There is compelling evidence
found in Gilman’s autobiography that supports the possibility that the story
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is an interpretation of Gilman’s life. Both the narrator
from the story and Gilman find themselves in similar situations.

            The narrator and the author both
find themselves in the author’s personal hell, the resting cure. Gilman writes
“He does not believe. I am sick!” (The Yellow Wallpaper,1), and she also claims
that her doctor kept her to bed and told her to rest well because there was
nothing wrong with her (Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper). She clearly states
that her husband who was a physician and her doctor in real life did not think
her sickness was somewhat serious, so resting cure would help her feel better.
Therefore, Gilman and narrator are bound to rest well at home to cure
themselves however they both knew it would not work for them. As both Gilman
and narrator are writers, the lack of stimulation caused by the resting sure
causes both to come “near the borderline of absolute mental breakdown” (Why I
Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper). This was a real event when Gilman was told to rest
all the time which made her dull and inactive and then she was about to go
crazy however she manages to keep her writing together taking a narrow escape.

            When someone tells you to stop doing
something that you love to or have been doing, then you will automatically feel
sorry or get mad because you cannot stop doing it. There has been a same case
in Gilman’s life and the narrator from Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
Firstly, she was bound to rest and secondly, she was not allowed to work or
write as she mentions “I am absolutely forbidden to work until I am well again”
(The Yellow Wallpaper, 2). Similarly, Gilman also writes her physician advice
“never to touch pen, brush or pencil again” (Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper).
In other words, the physician tells Gilman to give up her work till she lives
because he thinks that is going to help her do better since she is not
imagining or creating some works which uses her brain and affects her health condition
and in the story, John is doing the same. It is crystal clear how she tries to
show how her story and her life passes through similar events. Gilman also
mentions that she wrote the story even when she was forbidden by her physician
and the narrator does the same when she tries to write when no one is around
and pretends she is totally out of it when John and Jennie is around. Hence,
she was able to “recover from her decision to defy her doctor’s mandate and
return to her work as a writer” (Davis,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography) as written by Seltzer. As the narrator
believed she should be writing and it will benefit her in the story “The Yellow






Charlotte Perkins, and Bauer, Dale M. The Yellow Wall-Paper. Boston, Bedford
Books, 1998.

Catherine. “Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography.” Vitae Scholasticae,
vol. 28,          no. 1, 2011, p. 86.

Charlotte Perkins “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” The Forerunner, October




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