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The Yellow Wallpaper 5

  • Date Submitted: 10/08/2011 08:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.5 
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Revista Eletrônica do Instituto de Humanidades


Junho - Agosto


The discourse of madness and gender issues in “The Yellow Wallpaper” Prof. M. A. Carlos Eduardo S. Ildefonso FERLAGOS “I hold that mental illness is a metaphorical disease; that, in other words, bodily illness stands in the same relation to mental illness as a defective television receiver stands to an objectionable television programme.” “ I hold that psychiatric interventions are directed at moral, not medical problems (...)” “(...) The nineteenth-century, Western physician was identified with, and often served the interests of, the capitalist state; hence he believed, for example, that the woman's ‘proper' role was to be wife and mother. Escape from either role-that is, whether from that of downtrodden worker or downtrodden wife and mother - was left open along only a few routes, illness and disability being the chief one.” (Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness)

This paper aims at analysing related issues of madness and gender in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper”. It intends to demonstrate discursively how gender differences and sex-role stereotyping in a male dominated society may tragically lead a human being to states of depression, mental illness and, ultimately, utter madness. Such a restriction tends to target women, upon whom society imposes attitudes of (self-) denial and repressive behaviour on account of gender and/or sex roles. Consequently, society bereaves women of exploring their productivity capacities and limiting these same capacities to maternal and wifely roles. Studies on madness, during the twentieth century, have been given a great deal more of attention profoundly as well as have been re-examined. Influenced by psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists, these professionals have come to strongly assert in their studies regarding madness that a distinction is to be made, namely that...


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