In her essay, “Abuse of an unnamed wife: Is she familiar?”, Liz Moore thoroughly analyzes the phenomenon of psychological abuse on the basis of “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This short story addresses a young, newly married woman who moves with her husband, John, and his sister, Jennie, to a new house for summer vacation (Gilman, 1892). The narrator seemingly suffers from nervous depression, and John, who is a physician, controls her treatment, according to which the woman is not allowed to work and write. Moreover, her physical and mental activity is highly limited as well. Due to these practices, the narrator, mental health is consequently deteriorating, and she becomes demented at the end of the story.
In her highly informative work, Moore uses outside research and evidence from the story’s text to support her statement that psychological abuse is a highly disturbing issue, and it still presents in modern society. Despite the fact that “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written in the 19th century, it may currently be regarded as a significant warning concerning the consequences of psychological abuse when a highly vulnerable person is isolated and controlled by an abuser. In the story, it is shown how an attitude to women as second-class citizens with purely domestic functions and their passive roles in marriage, the ignorance of a person’s needs, and total control may destroy human identity and mental health.
The most peculiar part of Moore’s work with the strongest evidence is her analysis of domestic abuse tactics used by John that currently attract the attention of specialists. For instance, according to modern psychologists, abusers may feel that they are entitled to control another person and do not realize that abuse is happening. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” John is a physician who thinks that he helps his wife – moreover, in the public perception of that time, his profession gave him full permission for this treatment. In addition, although Moore’s work is well-elaborated, the author could include the examination of the role of objects in the conflict between a person’s ego and social pressure, as in the story, the color and pattern of wallpaper impact the narrator’s mental health.
Gilman, C. P. (1892). The yellow wallpaper. The New England Magazine.