Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

2376 WordsJan 4, 201210 Pages
CHARLOTEE PERKINS GILLMAN THE YELLOW WALLPAPER (1892) The cult of true womanhood defined women as “ladies”(pure, diligent). When we talk about American woman, we have to specify their religion, sexual orientation, race, social class (it is therefore essentialist to talk about “women” in general. Depending on the group which they are in, certain coordinates are applicable. The Yellow Wallpaper is about a white, protestant, heterosexual woman at the end of the 19th century in the higher middle class. Gilman wanted to obtain more freedom and in order to do so, she had to rebel against the most important institution oppressing her: MARRIAGE. (1) Nowadays, the typical happy family is outdated and doesn’t exist. Gilman lived at a time…show more content…
If we believe that all women are feminist, this is an example of ESSENTIALISM. Not all women are the same: gender is a cultural construct and women are indoctrinated into behaving in a certain way. The author fights against MARRIAGE. She is a pre-feminist (feminism of difference). For a long time, the story has been considered as autobiographical (= confessional mode), as these sold books. In Protestant society, public confession was and is extremely popular. Confessional literature has always been sold well in the US and this is the reason that Perkins wrote” Why I wrote The Yellow Wallpaper”. Originally, the world “wallpaper” was hyphenated”wall” covered by “paper” (important connotations): 1st footnote. In short stories, everything is relevant. At the time of writing, women were considered as side of “hysteria”: that the womb was irritated/inflamed. People believed that when women behaved in a way that they weren’t expected to, they were sick (hysteria). Women were expected to fulfil some roles. This “irritation or the womb” made people believe that a woman´s reproductive system was at threat and might stop working. Because of this, reading was “dangerous” for women because it excited the mind and therefore the womb. At the time of writing, there was a physician who said that high-class women should have a REST CURE to relax. He forbade any kind of intellectual work(reading and writing), to go

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