Final Essay - Karen Lewis Mav ID(KRL8694 2162 ENGL 2329 1...

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Karen Lewis Mav ID (KRL8694) 2162 ENGL 2329 04/27/2016
1 The Great Escape from Within Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written in 1891, is a story about a married couple who recently gave birth to a baby girl. Soon afterwards, Charlotte made it known that she was sick. She loves her baby yet felt nervous whenever she was around the baby. However, instead of writing about post-partum depression she writes about the torture and unbearable emotional distress that her husband puts on her. In the writing of The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman” we learn that as a child her mother did not allow her to form or have lasting, meaning and emotional attachment to others. Because of this we learn that she was more susceptible to depression. Having married at the age of 24, and having a baby within the year forced her into unbearable emotional turmoil. Because of her inability to feel and show affection towards others she experiences “utter prostration” by “unbearable inner misery” and “ceaseless tears,” a condition only made worse by the presence of her husband and her baby” (5). Also in the writing of “ Why I wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte “ suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia--and beyond” (2). According to the Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology” “melancholia is referred to somewhat like the affective disposition of a person, indicating a sad mood state of some duration, or simply the temperament of a person that made her disposed to a certain melancholic affective profile. But besides including anxiety, sadness, and despair, melancholia also covered states of profound boredom, despondence, and dejection” (141). “During the Nineteenth-century women were judged by her husband, neighbors, and society into the four cardinal virtues---piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity. Without them they were deemed to ashes” (152). The question remains is the
2 physician’s treatment for depression in the 18 th

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