Project Title

Creativity and Madness: The Misunderstandings Behind Mental Health

Presenter Information

Clarissa E. DennisFollow

Presenter Hometown

Lexington, KY

Major

Wildlife Management and Biology

Department

Biological Sciences

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Dr. Minh Nguyen

Mentor Department

Philosophy and Religion

Abstract

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story centered around a woman with a creative, writer’s mind, an active imagination, and a nervous disorder (depression). This poster presentation attempts to analyze several themes contained within this story. First, creative thinking and the purpose behind the text. This consist of the psychological aspect of the text and how Gilman’s main character, Jane, is affected by her creative mind, nervous disorder, treatment, and the negative response their combinations bring. Second, mental health and how it changes throughout the entirety of the story. This second section explains Gilman’s mental health history and experience with the treatment present in the text, the rest cure. It also analyzes how women in this time were treated when they tried to explain their mental health state. And third, the good life, and how the main character does or does not lead this “good life.” The poster presentation explains that Gilman’s story does not present a character who experiences the good life. It is argued that neither Jane nor Gilman could experience the good life as long as the solution to depression remained in the realms of silence and solitude because a creative mind without an outlet leads to madness.

Presentation format

Poster

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Creativity and Madness: The Misunderstandings Behind Mental Health

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story centered around a woman with a creative, writer’s mind, an active imagination, and a nervous disorder (depression). This poster presentation attempts to analyze several themes contained within this story. First, creative thinking and the purpose behind the text. This consist of the psychological aspect of the text and how Gilman’s main character, Jane, is affected by her creative mind, nervous disorder, treatment, and the negative response their combinations bring. Second, mental health and how it changes throughout the entirety of the story. This second section explains Gilman’s mental health history and experience with the treatment present in the text, the rest cure. It also analyzes how women in this time were treated when they tried to explain their mental health state. And third, the good life, and how the main character does or does not lead this “good life.” The poster presentation explains that Gilman’s story does not present a character who experiences the good life. It is argued that neither Jane nor Gilman could experience the good life as long as the solution to depression remained in the realms of silence and solitude because a creative mind without an outlet leads to madness.