Gender Roles During The 19th Century

1492 Words Dec 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Patriarchy : Are women considered inferior to men? How does gender roles during the 19th century affect the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper?
Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, originally printed on the New England Magazine became the model literature of feminism and women’s oppression after its publication in 1892. Gilman in her short story emphasises the roles of women and their oppression against a male dominant society during the 19th century. According to Elizabeth Carey’s article, “Controlling the Female Psyche: Assigned Gender Roles” and many other critics, Gilman’s story refers to the consequences and impact on women’s gender roles. In her article, she explains the difference between the roles of men and women, “the man’s role being that of the husband and rational thinker, and the woman’s role being that of the dutiful wife who does not question her husband’s authority.”(Carey 1) This passive role of women and the authoritative figure of men is a prime example of the relationship between John and the narrator and what ultimately drives the protagonist to madness in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” While I agree that the setting in which the story took place greatly affected the relationship between the narrator and her husband. Other factors like the undeveloped medical care for mental illness and the author’s own experience greatly added to the outcome of the story. First and foremost, before diving into the story one must understand the historical…
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