The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The introduction is an analysis of the various literary criticisms associated with the short story. The second part is research on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her journey with mental illness. The third part is research and background information on mental illness in the 19th century. The fourth part is research and analysis on the social, political, and economic context of the 19th century in the United States that affected the view of mental illness in the period, such as gender roles. The final part of the thesis is an analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." The analysis focuses on gender roles of the story and how these relate to the depiction of mental illness. This analysis takes into account the historical background and research when studying the context behind the story. In conclusion, the research and information in this thesis provides a new criticism for readers to consider when analyzing "The Yellow Wallpaper."