This thesis is a compare and contrast analysis of the female voice of depression in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Jean Rhys’ Good Morning, Midnight and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
More women than men are diagnosed with depression and depression has been said to be a reaction to oppression. Consequently, it seems that the female voice of depression in these texts could highlight some important aspects concerning depression. Much research and many texts have explored the relationship between women and madness, but very few have dealt explicitly with the female voice. This thesis, then, explores that aspect of a text, since it appears to be an important dimension and an important expression of depression and oppression. Based on a close reading, and drawing from narrative theory, psychology and feminism, I explore the narration of the female voice of depression in these three texts and place them in social, psychological and historical context.
My argument is that these voices add a valuable and significant dimension in a text and that they highlight aspects of a female reality which is important to pay attention to. Consequently, the female voice of depression is important to listen to, and take seriously.