English Period 1
6 February 2017
Gender oppression and gender roles in marriage during the late 1800s. The role or behavior learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms. There were fixed gender roles assigned by male-dominated societies. 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. Back then it was normal for the women to be seen as weak minded and lesser than the men. Even from religious figures like pastors and priest in the 18 and 1900s contributed to the oppression of women in marriage. New brides were told that they are the submissive partner …show more content…
It was given the name “nervous disease” because of their connection to the nerves, or emotions, the nervous diseases were particularly common among women during this time.
Mental illness is really affecting the main character; she is getting worse and worse. She is is given a “rest” treatment, and she is not allowed work or write. She decides to keep a secret journal to help relieve her mind. In the journal she writes about the room she is in and describes it and describes the disturbing yellow wallpaper. In her journal she writes “The paper is showing sub patterns only visible in certain light and it is deteriorating fast”. Over a few weeks she said that the wallpaper has become not only ugly but menacing. By resting she feels she is getting worse and her husband John knows she is getting worse, but doesn’t change his treatment. He just belittles her illness and brushing of anything she says. John eventually get her to see another doctor, doctor S. Weir Mitchell. She sees him but he is not much help either. She is getting a form of medical care that ignores the concerns of the patient, and is being belittled by the doctor, and is kinda brushing her off to the side and not really fully examining her situation.
As her illness worsens she is seeking help for her husband and her step sister as well. John was the one who gave her the “rest” treatment but it has not been
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Her loving husband, John, never takes her illness seriously. The reader has a front row seat of the narrator’s insanity voluminously growing. He has shown great patience with the recovery of his wife’s condition. However, the narrator is clear to the reader that she cannot be her true self with him. In the narrator’s eyes she feels he is completely oblivious to how she feels and could never understand her. If she did tell him that the yellow wallpaper vexed her as it does he would insist that she leave. She could not have this.
For a long period, those suffering from disorders were not given the most adequate treatments. In fact, it was believed that those with mental illnesses were possessed by demons or were accused of witchcraft because of their abnormal behavior (Comer, 2014). Later on new solutions for these illnesses rise. Those with mental disorders would either get operations called trephinations (Comer, 2014) or were locked away in a hospital, which is exactly what happened to the protagonist of this short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. However, the protagonist was not locked up away in a hospital, but she was locked up in a room in her house because of her husband, a physician, believed this would help “cure” her depression. Unfortunately, his treatment did not the way he expected. But recently, changes have been made, and breakthroughs in the cause and treatment of mental illness have been discovered. Unfortunately, these discoveries did not come soon enough for some. Luckily, psychologists have learned from the mistakes of doctors' treatments. Her husband diagnosed her with depression, therefore he should have encouraged her to go out and do activities she highly enjoys. It would have been great if he spent more time with her or surround her with her loved ones instead of having her
After marriage, the husband was considered lord and master of the family. But not all the women were meek and submissive. By the 1700's, the woman’s status had rapidly improved in colonial America. A wife and child made as much as a man did. Although women did not have equality with men, their status greatly improved from their status in Europe. A woman’s station in life was determined by the position of their husbands or fathers. The women of the poorest families, compiled to work in the fields, stood at the bottom of the social ladder. One of the surest signs of the accomplishments a family had made, was the exemption of their women from the fields. Before 1740, girls were trained in household crafts and the practical arts of family management. But afterwards they began to study subjects that required reading and studying such subjects as grammer and arithmetic. The women of the upper classes occupied themselves mainly with planning the work of the home and with supervising the domestic servants. Along with these tasks the women also baked, nursed, and sewed. But there were many social restrictions placed on the women of that time. One such restriction was that a wife, in absence of her husband, was not allowed to lodge men even if they were close relatives. For
The main character was suffering from more than just a post-partum depression but possibly a severe case of schizophrenia. While in the confinement, the narrator takes the reader through her declining mental journey and how she is affected by the solitary confinement in a yellow papered room. She was psychologically affected by her mental state and the confinement away from everybody. Her mental state became a fanatical delusional survival situation for her freedom which led to her mental demise.
The narrator feels very imprisoned in the house and tries to find a way to escape it. During the narrator’s rest cure treatment, she has attached herself to the wallpaper: She would “lay there for hours trying to decide whether that front pattern and the back pattern really did move together or separately”(260-261). This was the narrator’s way of escaping the oppression she was in. The wallpaper often seemed confusing to her, but she was determined to figure it out: “I am determined that nobody shall find it out but myself”(301-302), everytime John takes of her illness lightly, her interest in the wallpaper grows. This is a direct reflection of her loneliness and isolation from her treatment. The speaker’s rest cure treatment directed her not to do any activities that would make her think intellectually or imaginatively, so she is forced to stay isolated from people, books, and chores. However, as her loneliness grows intensely, she finds relief in writing, something she was told not to do. The narrator would often have to hide the fact that she writes when nobody's around, and when someone comes while she is writing she records “I must not let [them] find me writing”(141-142). The oppression the narrator has been put through has made her stronger mentally, she starts to become more and more possessive of the wallpaper and tries
181). Religion was integrated into their life. As the Industrial Age progressed, the strong religious values weakened through generations. “Female education should be preeminently religious” (p.182). The woman was the primary teacher of her child and was expected to teach themselves religion and be able to teach their children as well. “One reason religion was valued was that it did not take a woman away from her “proper sphere, her home.” (p. 181) Women only completed grade school and had many opportunities to read the bible so they were also able to preach family values, help the poor and contribute to stopping slavery. Devotion to religion was expected. Welter explains that a woman’s brain is capable of comprehending religion even though it is not visible. As the Industrial Age progressed, the strong religious values weakened through generations. Submission, another principle, kept women from voicing her opinion when having a discussion with their husbands or telling their husbands to terminate an annoying idiosyncrasy. “Wives were advised to do their best to reform men, but if they couldn’t, to give up gracefully. If any habit of his annoyed me, I spoke of it once or twice calmly, then bore it quietly.”(p. 186) She would reinforce her submissiveness by wearing tight corsets which would limit her breathing and physical mobility and remain uncomfortable. They were expected to be subservient to men as well as homemakers. “In Women of
Instructed to abandon her intellectual life and avoid stimulating company, she sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, which is also her doctor, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness. Everyday she keeps looking at the torn yellow wallpaper. While there, she is forbidden to write in her journal, as it indulges her imagination, which is not in accordance with her husband's wishes. Despite this, the narrator makes entries in the journal whenever she has the opportunity. Through these entries we learn of her obsession with the wallpaper in her bedroom. She is enthralled with it and studies the paper for hours. She thinks she sees a woman trapped behind the pattern in the paper. The story reaches its climax when her husband must force his way into the bedroom, only to find that his wife has pulled the paper off the wall and is crawling around the perimeter of the room.
Depression, Loneliness, and confusion engulfed the narrator of the wallpaper, confinement broke her. During the time of Charlotte Gilman, Postpartum depression was said to be “…temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency”(Gilman). With her illness, she was unable to perform her role as a mother nurturing her child or as wife tending to her husband needs, rendering her useless. Set in these roles, women at the time were seen as domestic and unable perform any other task. The yellow wallpaper clearly evinces the oppression by her husband, “I am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again… Personally, I disagree with [his] ideas . . .”, although she disagrees with the treatment, she has no say whatsoever when it comes to the matter of her illness, John does what he thinks is right for her.(Gilman) John decided that the best cure was the “rest cure”, meaning no brain stimulating activities while lying in a
The mood of the story shifted from nervous, anxious, hesitant even, to tense and secretive, and shifts again to paranoid and determination. Her anxiousness is evident whenever she talks to John. She always seems to think for lengthy time when attempting to express her concerns about her condition to him. The mood shift from anxious to secretive is clear when she writes “I had no intention of telling him it was BECAUSE of the wall-paper.” (9). She wants no one to figure out the affect the wallpaper has on her and she wants to be the only one to figure out its pattern. The final mood shift to determination is obvious when she writes “But I am here, and no person must touch this paper but me – not ALIVE!” (11). She is steadfast in attempting to free the woman from the wallpaper. She even goes as far as to lock herself in the room to make sure that she is not interrupted. The major conflicts of this story are the narrator versus John over the nature of her illness and its treatment and the narrator’s internal struggle to express herself and claim independence. During the entire story her and John’s views about her treatment conflict with each other, especially when it comes to her writing. He even makes her stay in the room upstairs instead of in a prettier room downstairs that she would prefer. She often keeps her views to herself or writes them down in
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story that surrounds many different topics. The narrator is living in a time period where women were looked down upon and mental illnesses were misunderstood. The narrator of the story suffers from post-partum depression and is recording her journey in a journal. Her husband, the typical man at the time, put her on “the rest cure,” as he believed that mental illnesses should be treated like physical illnesses. He brings her to a house far away from other people and makes her stay in the nursery. The nursery had shabby yellow wallpaper which sickened her, but intrigued her at the same time. The rest cure was basically confinement, both physically and mentally. She was deprived of
seems that John is very controlling and doesn't pay true attention to his wife. The illnesses of both the
Her husband was very optimistic about her illness. He dint even think it was a serious condition that is why he would be so denial about the topic. This usually happens when a theres a doctor in the family and thet think that you are okay but you are not. This can cause many negative consequences such as these that happened In The Yellow Wall=Paper Story. Not even her brother accepted the condition that she had, and that was causing her more depression and sadness. The yellow wallpaper that there was in the room was creeping her and even Jennie got to notice it, but then again Jennie was denial. Her only scape to this was to write in her journal everything that was happening, but she couldn’t even do that because john would not let
The recurring conflict in the short story, leading to the narrator losing her insanity, can be seen in the beginning of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, with the narrator’s point of view illustrating her restricted, mundane life and the misunderstanding of her condition that causes her mental health to deteriorate. The narrator clearly depicts the heavy constraints limiting her from expressing herself through her very first diary entry, in which she says “John is a physician, and perhaps-- (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)--perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster. You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do? Personally, I disagree with
The problem is that the woman does not give herself enough credit to speak up for herself. This is slightly comparable to what many people go through today, in our society, with medical practitioners. Although one knows what makes him or her feel better, we most often will rely on the doctor's advice, instead, simply because of his or her authority. The woman is trying so hard to get better, and deep down she knows what she needs to do, but she is constantly being shut down by her husband and her own personal insecurities. The woman describes writing as "Such a relief" (Barnet 748) but because of John's constant observation of her as well as her low energy level she must direct her thoughts elsewhere. So she begins to daydream about the wallpaper. She imagines people,
Their differences created the conflicts between them. John, as a physician, is very practical and rationalistic. He disregards the existence of anything that cannot be seen or felt and therefore does not believe that his wife was ill even though through reading her thoughts and emotions it was clear that she was suffering severely. The woman on the other hand, is very imaginative and sensitive. John believes that all his wife needs is rest and therefore her treatment is that she does no work and especially no writing. He felt that her condition would be made worst if she does any form of work or writing. The woman strongly disagrees with John on the type of treatment that he has suggested. She thinks that having daily activities, freedom, and interesting work would help her condition and so she starts to create secret journal in an attempt to alleviate her mind and to prevent her illness from getting the best of her. John continuously suppresses her thoughts, feelings and concerns about her illness which portrays him in a sense as a “villain”. He does not provide her with the space or opportunity to try other alternatives other than the “rest cure” so that she might overcome her illness. The woman wants to write about her feelings and her conditions but she is not allowed and so she has to struggle to hide her writings from John and his sister. The fact that she cannot freely write and openly express her feelings to John strains her and drains