Discuss what you think the author is presenting in this story as what women need to be emotionally healthy. Show which passages make you think that.

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I think that what the author is saying is that women must be be listened to and respected by their menfolk in order to be emotionally healthy. It's notable in this regard that the narrator of the story says that her husband, a doctor, does not believe that she's sick. The implication is that he thinks that her supposed ailment is all in the mind. In fact, he puts it all down to what he calls "a slight hysterical tendency."

In turn, this makes the narrator all the more frustrated, which only adds to the stress of her condition. And so long as the doctor patronizes his wife and treats her like a time-wasting malingerer, then her emotional health will continue to suffer.

A key passage in this regard is when the narrator candidly confesses what kind of effect her husband's treatment has had upon her:

I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition.

But one might argue that the narrator's anger isn't related to this nervous condition but to the fact that her husband isn't listening to her. That he continues to treat her like a patient rather than his wife is seriously undermining the narrator's emotional well-being, causing her frustration to come to the boil in angry, irrational outbursts.

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