Feminist Criticism Of The Yellow Wallpaper. Nicole Hedrick.

Decent Essays

Feminist Criticism of the Yellow Wallpaper
Nicole Hedrick
ENG 221 – Dr. Laura Gilbert
Baker College Online Feminist Criticism of the Yellow Wallpaper
"The Yellow Wallpaper" written by Charlotte Gilman is a story written in the 19th century when women were battling society on what the role of women should be. The readings of "The Yellow Wallpaper" bring attention to a woman who slowly descends into madness trying to have a voice in a patriarchal society. The narrator was expected to obey her husband and be the wife he wants her to be and what society expected her to be. This short story was not published for many years, one publisher even wrote in a rejection letter to Gillman that stated: "I could not forgive myself if I made others as …show more content…

She has no ability to express herself through her writing, in turn making her more depressed and exhausted with trying to hide her voice from the world. Not only was the husband demanding but so was a society in this time frame. Women were to obey their husbands and be women who stayed quiet and took care of the house and children. Gillman writes "he is very careful and loving and hardly lets me stir without special direction… he takes care of me, and I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more" (Lynn, 2004 p.318). The author and her choice of words reflect that the husbands attempt to control the wife is not working entirely, she is hinting that she wants more control of her life.
The man plays a significant role in the story as the overbearing spouse. He clearly rules the roost, and it is shown by the influence he has over the wife. "John controls nearly all aspects of his wife 's life, such as who she sees, which room she sleeps in, and which furniture surrounds her" (Startripping. n.d). The first line that I would like to point out gives a startling insight into the character 's marriage by stating "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage" (Lynn, 2004 p. 317). This line shows that he does not have any respect for his wife, but rather he sees her as a lesser person of interest. John views his wife throughout the story as smaller person, and it resembles it through the dialogue of the short story. "He is very

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