the struggle for sanity

While reading The Yellow Wallpaper, I found myself predicting what would happen based off our other readings and the reoccurring theme of women being imprisoned by their husbands and society. This was indeed the case with The Yellow Wallpaper but it seemed to have a deeper meaning. I saw many similarities between Virginia Woolf in The Hours and the woman in The Yellow Wallpaper; I thought it was interesting that The Yellow Wallpaper, being a fictional piece, could be compared to a real life woman, struggling insanely to find sanity.

         Woolf and the woman in The Yellow Wallpaper, both struggled to find sanity in a society where they were deemed insane and were told what was best for them instead of deciding for themselves. When the woman points out how her husband said “we solely came here on my[her] account, that I[she] was to have perfect rest and all the air I[she] could get,” I immediately thought of the scene of Woolf and her husband at the train station. The woman in The Yellow Wallpaper reminded me of their emotions and how he was isolating her for what he thought was her own good, it seemed that this is what John was doing but in The Yellow Wallpaper we get to hear the woman’s thoughts when put in this position. Being in this position, the women were both looked at as if they were weak and insane. John treated his wife like a young child that did not know what was best for her, he would guide her to do things calling her “little girl”, “my dear” or “my darling”. John also used his title as a doctor to seem more powerful over her and execute his plan to make her better, so to say. Although both women are forced to be isolated from their wants and needs, they both use writing as an outlet. I think this says a lot about their intelligence and how they should be able to make decisions for themselves and live lives that they want to live. They both are told what is best for them, which clearly drives them insane, however if they led the lives they wished to live, they would easily become sane, balanced, and strong.


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