Jennie is the narrator's sister-in-law. She helps to take care of the narrator and, more importantly, the narrator's newborn baby. She is described as "a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper." She represents the nineteenth-century view of the role of women as housekeepers and child rearers.
The husband of the unnamed narrator, John is a doctor who believes in the "rest-cure," a treatment developed by real-life neurologist S. Weir Mitchell, for women suffering from hysteria. Therefore, he prescribes complete bed rest, not allowing his wife to...
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