Irony In The Yellow Wallpaper

What is the irony in "The Yellow Wallpaper"?

There many examples of verbal, dramatic, and situational irony in "The Yellow Wallpaper." The most profound irony, however, is that John, who is certain of his superior scientific knowledge, turns a sane and healthy woman into a severely mentally ill one through his disastrous course of treatment.

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One irony of Charlotte Perkins's disturbing story is the fact that if the narrator were empowered to choose her means of recovery, then she probably would have cured herself, rather than having fallen victim to terrible repression and later to what one critic calls "the seduction of insanity." Her nervous condition worsens because neither the husband, who is a physician nor the attending doctor understands her sensitive and artistic nature. Thus, the two physicians are a negative, rather than a positive influence on her.

When the narrator, who suffers from post-partum depression, is prescribed fresh air and exercise and is forbidden to "work" until she is well again, the narrator feels differently about her cure. She is convinced that "congenial work, with excitement and change," would benefit her more. As an outlet from her depression, she tries writing; however, because she has to do this activity secretly not to suffer "heavy opposition," she becomes overwrought. She thinks,

I sometimes...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1126 words.)

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