Comparing Gilman And Charlotte Bronte's The Yellow Wallpaper

Decent Essays
Delashmit and Longcope promote the idea that Gilman connected with Charlotte Bronte’s treatment with Jane Eyre when writing The Yellow Wallpaper. Both Gilman and Bronte’s story incorporated similar settings, which included a bedroom in the upper level of a house. In each story, both narrators had the sense that the house they live in was haunted. In Bronte’s story Jane Eyre saw an image of herself floating in the mirror towards her. Whereas in Gilman’s story the narrator noticed and image of herself materialize from the yellow wallpaper. In both situations when the narrators noticed the images of themselves, it was the part of themselves that was being denied a way out. There were some ways in which Gilman’s story differed from Bronte’s. For…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, Gilman reminds readers that the story is a diary explaining Jane’s internal journey. The story demonstrates two different worlds. These two worlds include Jane’s developing imaginative insight and her husband and sister-in-law’s world of domestic control and masculine order. Through confinement Jane was forced to stay in the nursery and fall into her psychotic fears. Jane was placed under the rest cure, and pushed to give up her job as a mother. Gilman herself was placed under the rest cure which creates a connection between her and Jane. It is later known that the story was created to show a heroine struggling to save herself through writing. After being confined for so long, Jane slowly identifies with her suppressed rage. When she illustrates the image of the woman in the wallpaper being behind bars, Jane connects this with her own feelings of entrapment. When she finally destroys the wallpaper, Jane expresses her rage. Through this expression Jane found that the only source of power should could achieve was through the…show more content…
The text shows the power that men have in the current society. Jane’s husband labels things as reasonable and rational which make things more justifiable in his opinion. The reason her husband forbids Jane from writing was because he saw it as irrational. During Jane’s confinement, she was not haunted by ‘alien powers’ but by her oppressed self. The wallpaper demonstrates the idea of the social constraints placed on women. Rather than the tearing down of the wallpaper down representing Jane was freeing herself from her husband’s oppression, when Jane tore down the wallpaper she was removing her rebellious self, which was not allowing her to achieve her ideal persona. Throughout the story Jane’s husband portrays and treats Jane like a child; by making their bedroom the nursery, forcing Jane to sleep after every meal, and carrying her to bed. It is because of this treatment that Jane projected herself into the wallpaper as a crawling childlike woman. When the woman gets out of the wallpaper a social ideal victory can be seen; Jane retreated to childlike tendencies and her husband was silenced. Jane gained her desired power by escaping into her insanity to silence her husband. Which explains the main themes of the story which are social structures dominated by repressive males and female aggression and
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