“Black Swan” - “Yellow Wallpaper”
Why can one only lose their self entirely or free oneself by creating an alternate reality in
their own mind? If we compare the “Black Swan to the “Yellow Wallpaper,” maybe then we
can begin to answer this question.
“In the film 'Black Swan', Nina, always a white swan, begins to explore her Shadow (her black swan) for her lead role in 'Swan Lake'. I'm struck by the factors and presences pushing and
pulling Nina into and out of her Shadow: namely, her creepy, infantilizing mother and her
abusive, seducing director.” (Tally) Nina doesn't get to explore her notorious dark side in any
remotely safe or healthy ...view middle of the document...
” (Gilman, 1899,1)
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is an exaggerated account of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal experiences. In 1887, shortly after the birth of her daughter, Gilman began to suffer from serious depression and fatigue. She was referred to Silas Weir Mitchell, a leading specialist
in women’s nervous disorders in the nineteenth century, who diagnosed Gilman with
neurasthenia and prescribed a “rest cure” of forced inactivity. Weir Mitchell believed that
nervous depression was a result of overactive nerves and ordered Gilman to cease all forms
of creative activity, including writing, for the rest of her life. The goal of the treatment was
to promote domesticity and calm her agitated nerves.” (Wikipedia)
“Gilman attempted to endure the “rest cure” treatment and did not write or work for three
months. Eventually, she felt herself beginning to go slowly insane from the inactivity and, at
one point was reduced to crawling under her bed holding a rag doll. Unlike the protagonist
in her story, Gilman did not reach the point of total madness, but she knew that her...