Imagine being diagnosed with a disease which forbids you from any creative activity, stops you from going out, and limits your forms of expression. That's not even the worst part! There's also no guarantee you'll get better but all you are required to do is blindly follow orders given to you by your doctor and if you decide to go about your normal daily routine, you are forced into an undesirable cure. Charlotte Perkin Gilman's famous short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper", starts out with the protagonist speaking in first person about her husband's profession as a physician. Right off the bat, we can see that she is skeptical and disagrees with his methods of treating her so called mental disorders. Gilman uses the literary device of character to convey the lack of communication between the narrator and her husband/society. Throughout the story, we are exposed to the thoughts of a woman who is diagnosed with nervous depression and hysteria. She is frantic and unorganized with her thoughts and soon after, highly obsessed with the yellow wallpaper in her room. Her fixation and mind are able to convince her that there are people hidden behind this wallpaper. She hides her desire to write or do anything creative because as her husband claims, it would worsen her case. Correspondingly, the story portrays a married woman's plea to be allowed to do things which she has been forbidden to do by her husband and doctors of her society, due to means of "curing" her. A theme which is highlighted through this story is communication, or in this case, a lack of it. In other words, miscommunication is conveyed through the main character of the story. .
Just by reading the first few lines of the story, it is uncovered that the narrator is living in a summer mansion with her husband. She seems bothered and confused with the methods which her husband, John, has been using to try and cure her.