Charlotte Gillman's the Yellow Wallpaper is a story about a woman who is depressed after having her first child. Her husband John "a physician of high standing"(633) takes her away to a colonial estate for a short period of time during the summer, to help her relax and get through her depression. His intentions in the beginning of the story seem to be honorable and in her best interest, but as the plot thickens the story reveals an almost deceitful and intentional character. It is my intention to focus this paper on evidence that the caring husband John is using his stature to mislead his wife and to deliberately drive her insane. .
It can easily be said that John, the husband of the main character is no doubt the head of their household. Throughout the story there are many references made to his position in the family. For example, in the beginning of the story the main character says she feels uneasy about the house she is staying at for the summer, and goes on to say, "my husband laughs at me, but that is to be expected."(633) One can't help but wonder why her husband laughs at her .It can be said that one of the problematic moments in the story can be found here. If she is accused of a mental illness and is being laughed at then her reliability as a narrator can be questioned, but we cannot disregard her testimony because it is the only one we have to base our opinions on. It is my belief that the author is using this to show the reader, the husband's opinion of his wife. He obviously does not take her very serious; if he did there would be no need to laugh at her, and her concerns would be taken into consideration. Instead the wife makes up for her husband's lack of support by saying to be laughed at is to be expected. She also goes on to say her husband "is a physician of high standing, and one's own husband assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency, what is one to do.