Madness

Once again, a story that catches my eye! This story is filled with so many emotions and it shows how little women’s voices were heard years ago. The narrator is clearly neglected by her husband, he lacks communication and does not allow her to make her own decisions. This story reminds me so much of, “Girl”, due to the fact that the young girl’s voice was never heard as well. For example, at the very beginning of the story, the narrator states, “If 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? My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing. So I take phosphates or phosphites — whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas.” In other words, the narrator has zero power over her own life. it appears that she is dealing with a mental issue that causes her to be nervous constantly and in my opinion, it sounds like severe anxiety. But, instead of having her keep herself busy in order to distract herself and support her in fighting whatever it is that she is dealing with mentally or physically, her family and husband would rather restrict her from doing what she loves or having any freedom at all to make her own decisions. I can only imagine how she must have felt. I believe her feelings of loneliness due to always being bossed around must have made her mental issue even worse, she must have thought there will be no escaping it, ever. As much as she disagreed, she could never say what she really once wished to. This would not be anyone’s ideal type of marriage.
Apart from having her activities limited, I feel as though the narrator is not only trying to fight away her mental illness on her own but, is also fighting against her own emotions. She clearly knows what is best for her and what would make her feel happy once again. “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.” This shows how she was talking to herself and there goes her husband’s voice in her head… reminding her of what he thinks is best. Her husband has controlled so much of her life that she cannot even continue to finish processing a thought without remembering “wise” words her husband has implanted into her brain.
As I continue to read through the story, the narrator slowly continues to worsen. “I always fancy I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try. I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me” that only thing that could the narrator sane would be to write once more. It’s what would free her from her issues, and make her feel free from all of her worries.

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