Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written to inform people about the wrong that the "rest treatment" brought to women at the time. Gilman not only spoke her hatred for the rest treatment, but also used the story as a way to name herself. And by doing so, she named all women, who were placed at the hands of their husband for every decision. In the following, "The Yellow Wallpaper" will be discussed to reveal how the narrators husband held to a "patriarchical domination" (Pertiz 114), and how the narrator herself acted against this domination in order to name herself. And a further discussion on the way in which Gilman's story impacted society's standings of women of the time. .
In the opening lines of the story, it can be seen that the narrator declares her husband the reason for her physical state: "John is a physician, and perhaps- (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but dead paper and a great relief to my mind) - Perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster" (Gilman 1150). In this line, the narrator is stating that what is put on paper is not a statement she is free to make in real life. The narrator uses her writing as a way to express herself and what ideas she is having. By John placing her in the attic and taking away her self-expression, how is this woman ever supposed to recover? This is the question the narrator herself is posing, before she is driven crazy. These words also show that the narrator sees her husband as a wall between her sickness and her health. Here, John is given the power position over his wife, for he has complete control over what she can and cannot do; after all he is also her doctor. John is described as "practical to the extreme" (Gilman 1150), which makes him "represent law and order and reality" (Suess). Throughout the story, John is seen to have control over "all (Jane's) domains, personal, professional, and social" (Suess).