Not only did he refuse to take her illness seriously, he also refused to take her seriously. While on her vacation, he is in complete control of the things she does and says. She was forbid to write or engage in any stimulating activities, or even receive company from family or friends. She believed that “excitement and change” would help her, yet he firmly believed in the opposite. He would dismiss her complaints or worries, for they went against what he believed was right for her. Gilman’s message to her society was that women’s complaints and worries were valid, and that they were deserving of being listened to. They were to be taken seriously, especially when they were discussing their own health, physical or mental. John would not treat her as someone deserving of respect, instead he treated her like a child. He would call her diminutive names such as “little girl” or “blessed little goose”, and would speak to her as if she was delusional. John found her worries irrational, and that they were getting the best of her. With no one to believe her, the narrator found her writing to be her only confidant. She writes in secret, in fear John will find out and take what little she already
Gilman’s use of pathos, makes the reader feel angry that the narrator is tied and bound to a society that thought confinement was the best cure for post-partum depression. She knows what is best for her, yet no one will listen, “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less, opposition, and more society and stimulus- but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad” (Gilman, P.462). It made me feel bad that there was nothing that the narrator could do, but succumb to the norms of society, and try to recover without being around people, working, and living a normal
Often John would treat her like a child, in more ways than one. Whenever she would express her troubles or concerns, he would dismiss them, seeing them to be too emotional or irrational. He did what he believed to be in her best interest; however, he only put his own opinion into account. He would speak to her in condescending tones whenever she was discontent, calling her diminutive names such as “blessed little goose” and “little girl”. He would not allow her to do anything that would make her condition worse, depriving her from social contact or any form of entertainment. John’s treatment of the narrator was a contributing factor to her downfall, for he refused to see past his own judgment and conform to her situation. His treatment of his wife was Gilman’s attempt at reflecting her society’s view on women. Women were seen as melodramatic and incapable of making decisions for themselves, which is how John treated the narrator. Without the ability to make her own decisions on her behalf, she had nothing, and thus fell into
Secondly, not only does interior monologue give impact to Jane’s thoughts toward her situation and illness, but this point of view style gives unique insight into the relationships among Jane and the other characters, especially the those between Jane and her husband, John, and her sister-in-law, Jennie. At the beginning of Gilman’s story, the husband and wife relationship of Jane and John follows the pattern of the time with John taking the part of the dominant yet well-meaning husband, and Jane taking the part of the obedient wife. Except for her forbidden writing, Jane follows John’s treatment guidelines (326); however, throughout the story, the respect and obedience Jane exhibits toward John at the first start to deteriorate, and suspicion and resentment replace it. One example of this change is when Jane states, “John is away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious. I am glad that my case is not serious!” (327). Not only does her paranoia grow toward John, but also toward her sister-in-law, Jennie. The
John demonstrates the power of male to stop his wife’s complaints. John holds resolutely to the conventional lines of the marriage plot and produces authority out of a distanced and ironic critique of women diseases. Janice Peritz stated in her journal that, ‘’Author, Williams Howell, had nothing to say about the provocative feminism of Gilman’s text after he added her short story to his collection which caused Gilman’s story to be completely ignored’’. Gilman makes a strong statement about males in society during her time period. The men are portrayed to really see women as children more than as individuals. The dominance of men is undeniable, ‘’ He does not believe I’m sick’’. The narrator has lost control to decide is she’s sick or not, which is one of the most basic things a person can determine. The narrator stated, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression, what is one to do?” Gilman portrays that women ‘‘invented” their emotional illnesses in order to attract attention and sympathy of other relatives. It is possible to say that male physicians prefer to find any excuse not to treat psychological disorders seeing them unimportant and even “imaginary”. The typical male makes his wife a conformist by enforcing his
“The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Chrysanthemums”, by John Steinbeck, are two inspirational stories about the limitations and stereotypical roles of a woman in the early 1900’s. The reader can easily conclude that in both of the stories, the women feel like they are underappreciated by their husbands. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the woman keeps describing herself as “one’s self”, as she feels that she is not her own person. The viewers notice this woman has a husband, John, whom is her caretaker and believes he shows his love in a very dysfunctional way. In order for her to remain stable, she relies on writing, which John does not like and has in his head that she is sick. This
When the readers meet the young, subordinated wife of a physician, who remains nameless throughout the entire story, perhaps hinting at the commonness of such situations where all those women are the same: faceless and nameless, this woman’s dilemma becomes obvious. She has been stripped off the only function a woman in those times had, the domestic one, due to the fact that she suffers from a mysterious illness which requires the infamous bed cure. Gradually, she is treated more and more as a child, unable and even forbidden to express herself in a creative way, namely to write, being persuaded that it cannot do any good to someone in her condition. This is why the protagonist (who is simultaneously the narrator), takes it upon herself to write a journal about her experiences and the mysterious woman that haunts her from the
As I started reading this short story, it clearly introduced who the characters are and where it took place. The narrator is a woman; she has no name, remains anonymous throughout the story. She lives with her husband John in a house. This house is isolated from society, since the short story indicates that it is far from village, roads or any means of communication. It also contains locks and gates throughout. The woman is ill and this illness has placed her in a weak position with her husband and everything around her. We know that she likes to write, but her husband doesn’t let her, so she does it in secret. Although this type of writing is mainly to show mild personality disorder in dealing with life,
Making the room seem more prisonlike then homely. It is within that room that the reader is first introduced to the “ghost”. As time goes on the narrator begins to see a woman behind this ghastly yellow wallpaper that she is forced to look at every day. We are introduced to this wallpaper as “a woman that is stooping down and creeping behind that pattern” (Gilman 72). As the story progresses the narrator begins to see the woman more and more clearly behind this yellow wallpaper. “The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be” (73). The longer the story goes the more the reader begins to understand who the woman is. Behind the Yellow Wallpaper lie our narrator and her thoughts and emotions. Like the “woman” she sees behind the yellow wallpaper she feels trapped without a way out. And the ghost is what she sees within herself. Both are being kept inside during the daytime while they want to be outside being active. As we progress the woman behind the wallpaper shakes and moves more agitated, as the narrator herself becomes more agitated and trying to break free in a sense. What the reader comes to understand within the story is that the narrator isn’t trying to break out of the room, but rather break out of the submissive relationship she has with her husband. And the ghost behind the wallpaper represents
Within the very first lines of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-paper,” the modern reader is slapped in the face with this off-handed remark, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage,” (792). Although the readers of today might not expect such belittlement in marriage, Gilman must have known that her contemporary readers would. Gilman published “The Yellow Wall-paper” in 1892, a time when all American women were expected to adhere to strict roles in society chosen by the men, who dominated society. Gilman’s contemporary readers would have indeed expected John’s actions. “The Yellow Wall-paper” is a work which addresses the effects of the lack of female agency in marriages during
The time period of the Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is presumably set in the 19th century, women during this time were expected to be weak, passive, and irrational. This being said, most males were particularly controlling, especially over women as men tended to treat women inferiorly (Sichok). Women during this time were expected to “stay at home to look after the
Unlike the modern medicine, during the nineteenth century when the story “The yellow wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman takes place postpartum depression was not even considered a viable affliction. As a result Gilman’s unnamed protagonist and narrator, a wife of a doctor named John, suffers unnecessarily with the common illness ultimately plunging into insanity. The lack of understanding in the mental health field at that time is a contributing factor; however it is not the only thing to blame for “Mrs. John’s” downward spiral. Mrs. John herself contributes in her own undoing merely by doing what is expected of her as a subservient woman in that era.
In “A Rose for Emily” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Faulkner and Gilman employ point of view to question gender roles and mental health. Faulkner uses a third-person point of view in order to narrate the story from the perspective of the town. The perspective of an outsider looking in on Emily’s life highlights her lack of control as a woman and later, a lack of control she has over herself. The distant narrator creates a barrier to fully understanding Emily’s character and reflects how the town does not truly know her and her secrets. In contrast, Gilman uses a first-person point of view to narrate from the protagonist’s perspective. The utilization of an unreliable narrator allows for more understanding of the protagonist’s character, but less understanding of her situation as a whole. Moreover, the protagonist only writes when her husband John is not around which provides further insight into her deteriorating mental condition and the lack of control she has as a woman. Faulkner and Gilman use different narrative perspectives to achieve similar results. Each point of view hides or highlights the female character in order to reveal the struggles and insufficient help they receiving. These stories provide commentary on common issues for women and mental illness for their time period.
The husband uses his power as a doctor to restrict her; he forces her to act the way he thinks a sick woman should. He then advises her to rest and not to do any writing. The narrator, however, cannot keep her imagination from roaming, which helps her handle these situations with her husband and her depression. Therefore, whenever she wants to do something, she is always stopped by her husband. For example, she wants to move downstairs because she hates the room with the dreadful wallpaper, but the husband, John, refuses to allow her to do so. When she wants to remodel her room, John turns her down again, saying he can’t cater to her “fancies” (Gilman 2). This forces her to go insane, but the way she tackles her problems is by escaping to her diary. Meanwhile, the narrator writes her diary to try to deal with the problems that she is being faced with, and the whole time her husband thinks she is getting better, but she was only getting
Gender roles seem to be as old as time and have undergone constant, but sometime subtle, revisions throughout generations. Gender roles can be defined as the expectations for the behaviors, duties and attitudes of male and female members of a society, by that society. The story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a great example of this. There are clear divisions between genders. The story takes place in the late nineteenth century where a rigid distinction between the domestic role of women and the active working role of men exists (“Sparknotes”). The protagonist and female antagonists of the story exemplify the women of their time; trapped in a submissive, controlled, and isolated domestic sphere, where they are treated