The Yellow Wallpaper was first published in January 1892. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health. The story is a collection of diary entries written by Jane whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal from him so she can recuperate from a "temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency", a diagnosis common to women of that period. The story explores the effect of Jane’s medical treatment on her mental health. The Yellow Wallpaper has been interpreted as a condemnation of the paternalism of the 19th-century medical profession. Gilman's works challenged the construct of women in patriarchal medical rhetoric, which portrayed women as passive, silent, powerless persons who refused treatment. Often women were prescribed bed rest as a form of treatment intended to rid them of their rebelliousness and force them to follow appropriate social roles. In her works, Gilman highlighted the harm caused to women by these types of treatments.
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