Perkins Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper”

When I read the story, I thought the purpose was to scare the readers or to at least make them feel a sense of eeriness. Dr. Jerz says to not ‘diagnose’ a story for a final solution, because that will cease all discussion. That being said, saying that the woman was mentally ill or that no one should be confined stops all discussion for the story. After reading Gilman’s ‘Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper’, I saw the story in a different light when it said “It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked”. The story helped others see that confinement worsens mental illness, but doesn’t this statement contradict what Jerz was saying in class? Gilman is eliminating any discussion to happen; he is ‘diagnosing’ the story.

via Perkins Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper”.

One thought on “Perkins Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper””

  1. I think there could still be discussion even over the statement, like how did the story save people… did the “scare factor” in the story help in saving people…. why did Gilman embellish her experience and how did the embellishment help save people…. could her real life experiences had helped people or do people only respond to the extremes….
    I don’t think Gilman gave enough of a diagnosis or enough telling information to halt all discussion. Sure she told that she had a nervous breakdown and lapsed into a melancholic state, but she also said that she embellished and exaggerated her story. She gave the reason why she wrote it, but its leaves up to discussion how it worked, why she chose to exaggerate certain aspects etc.
    I think if “Why I Wrote…” had been longer and more detailed then perhaps that would have halted all discussion. What do you think?

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