Charlotte Anna Perkins Stetson Gilman was an American novelist and feminist who became best-known for one of her short stories called ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper

Charlotte Anna Perkins Stetson Gilman was an American novelist and feminist who became best-known for one of her short stories called ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper,’ published in January 1892. ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ is a psychological fiction story that was seen as a gothic horror tale during the late nineteenth century about a woman who is mentally ill and is prescribed the evil rest cure by her husband. The story was published during a time period when there was a lack of belief upon mental disorders and women were oppressed. Gilman’s story was not just a response to her physician Silas Weir Mitchell, who prescribed the ineffective rest cure, but it was also to argue how powerless women were during that era.
To begin with, Charlotte Gilman immediately makes a strong statement in her story about how the protagonist was inferior to her husband, “if a physician of high standing and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression– a slight hysterical tendency–what is one to do?” (Gilman). Gilman is exhibiting how the protagonist’s husband John, a high standing doctor, thought his wife was acting over dramatic and what she had was just temporary. Her husband also believed she needed to be isolated in order to recover. The woman did not have the power to speak out for herself due to the social standards people had in the past.
During the century Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman’s story was published, women were oppressed and many of them were fighting against the social norms. In her story, Charlotte Gilman was not just speaking for herself, but for women who didn’t want to feel inferior to men anymore. Author Mahinur Aksehir states, “this story not only tells the story of a particular character who is subjected to traumatizing treatment, but also reveals the common traumatic experiences of all women, including Gilman herself” (Aksehir). This refers to the things women had to go through during the late nineteenth century because they were viewed as powerless objects by man and that their only role in society was to build a home for their family.