What is the main idea of the story "The Yellow Wallpaper"?

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Erin DuBuque eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman , the narrator is brought to a colonial mansion by her husband, John, for a rest cure. John is a physician, and he believes that isolation and a surcease from domestic activities will help his wife get over her "nervous depression" and "slight hysterical tendency." He relegates her to an upstairs room with garish yellow wallpaper. As the story progresses, the woman becomes more and more obsessed with the paper and convinced that there is a woman trapped behind it. In the end, it appears that she has gone insane: she imagines...

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coerman | Student

Having suffered from continuous nervous breakdown, and beyond, which nearly led to melancholia, and not having been treated the right way, I think that Charlotte Perkins Gilman is trying to make a statement. She wants to show the world how it is to be in this, what I would conclude out of the story, horrid situation. No one can really know how it is to feel trapped in a way, and I think this story has reflected a clear picture of how serious the situation is.

As she was given the wrong treatment and was nearly driven crazy, in my opinion the second reason why she wrote The Yellow Wallpaper is to avoid other patients coming into this horrible situation and frankly it did work! Patients with this illness do get treated in a different way then that they used to get treated.

I would say that Charlotte Perkins Gilman has achieved her goal.

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