I think the story Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman that is slowly going crazy. It is not just about the things that she does while going insane that build interest in the story. What makes it so interesting is the fact that it is written in the first person, as though we are glimpsing into the main character’s personal journal. We can see that others are concerned about her. These include her husband, John, who is a physician. But it is this overbearing concern that is what might actually be making her sick.
It sounds like John really cares about the main character. But he is in complete control of every aspect of her life. She is not allowed to do any work. He controls who she can visit and who can visit her. She isn’t allowed to take any exercise. She is simply supposed to rest. She doesn’t even get the chance to sleep in the bedroom of her choosing. She is forced to stay in a room that is drafty and has yellow wallpaper that she hates.
I think part of this story is trying to show how subservient women were to men at this point in American history. Because her husband was a man and a physician, she did not feel as though she could say anything contrary to his opinion. He always knew what was best. The author keeps suggesting each time John tells her to do something she doesn’t want to do that he was bossing her around for her own good. I believe that the real theme in this story is saying that when people are prevented from doing things they love, such as writing or working, then they will eventually find themselves going crazy.