The theme of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-Paper" is what can happen when you let someone else control your life. In this story, the wife becomes mentally ill because she lets her husband control her life and as the story progresses you can see that her condition worsens because she does not think for herself. This theme is revealed through the wife by her writings in her journal about her and her husband, her imaginations in the yellow wall-paper, people that she imagines, and the moment she goes completely insane.
It is shown in the wife's journal entries about her and her husband, just how much she lets John control her life. One example of this is when she writes, "I am absolutely forbidden to work until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good" (153). She obviously has her own different opinions but never speaks of them openly, she only writes them down in her journal. This is why her husband controls her so much because she does not fight back about her own opinions. She wants to have excitement and change but she lets John control her life and make her unhappy. She even knows that she is angry with him but she just blames it on a nervous condition that John says she has. The real reason she is angry with him is the fact that he does not let her do what she wants to do, but she denies this. Another example that shows she lets him control her is when she writes, "I don"t like our room a bit. I wanted one downstairs But John would not hear of it" (153). Once again she disagrees with his judgment but goes along with him anyways, and this is one of the main things she should have done for herself. Because she goes along with his judgment, her condition begins to worsen.
It is soon revealed that her condition begins to worsen when she begins to imagine people and things in the wall-paper.