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Tuesday, December 6 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Reclaiming Insanity: A Study Of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper”

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This paper considers the possibility that the wallpaper in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a physical manifestation of the narrator’s depression. The narrator, a young married mother, begins to spiral out of control when she is prescribed the rest cure, a treatment composed of isolation from stimulation and absolutely no productive work. The culmination of the narrator's mental illness occurs when she succumbs to insanity, a symbolic suicide of sorts as she disassociates herself from her life and even her identity. Gilman, who experienced postpartum depression of her own, later explained that she wrote the story in 1892 to "keep people from being driven crazy." By attending to Gilman’s purpose, this project claims that "The Yellow Wallpaper" offers a powerful testimony to the period’s treatment of women and its stigma concerning mental illness.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 1:40pm - 2:00pm PST
232 Karpen Hall

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