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In Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the story begins with John and the narrator arriving at a country estate. John has arranged for his wife to rest at the estate, for she has been in poor health. John is a physician, so we can assume that he has his wife’s best interests at heart. He isolates her from friends, so that she does not become over-stimulated; he forbids her to write, as he feels, this, too, may be too physically demanding; and he supplies her with various tonics and medicines to help her along. Despite his best intentions, the treatment he provides is the opposite of everything she feels she needs to get better. He treats her physical body, but what she actually needs is care for her mental health.
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