- What are the social circumstances that allowed for this kind of incarceration to take place?
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The narrator and her physician husband, John, have rented a mansion for the summer so that she can recuperate from a “slight hysterical tendency.” Although the narrator does not believe that she is actually ill, John is convinced that she is suffering from “neurasthenia” and prescribes the “rest cure” treatment. She is confined to bed rest in a former nursery room and is forbidden from working or writing. It is implied that the narrator is suffering from post-partum depression, which the husband condescendingly considers female “nerves” or “hysteria.”