Oppression Of Women In 'The Yellow Wallpaper, AndSweat'

1041 WordsMay 30, 20175 Pages
“If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.” This quote by Sojourner Truth implies that women talk more about gaining rights than actually working towards them and that only words will not change anything. Two short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, closely relate to this quote, showing the oppression that women faced in their daily lives. The stories show that women cannot gain rights, for society’s norms and expectations trap them in their place. The dialogue of the two short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Sweat”, qualifies Truth’s quote because although words do not help the women in the stories gain…show more content…
When the narrator became more assertive that the treatment was not helping her sickness, her husband returned the same attitude, citing his status, asking “Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?"(Gilman) to silence her. The narrator’s dialogue with her husband shows how only talking and bargaining will not help women. One thing in the story that could be considered an action is the narrator pulling the wallpaper off, finally getting what she wanted. The narrator shocked her husband causing him to faint, something stereotypical of women of the time. This is similar to a role-reversal, because now the narrator has some sort of power over her husband, who now fits a female stereotype. But the narrator had already lost her sanity to the point that she believes that she is the woman in the wallpaper, saying "I've got out at last ... And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!"(Gilman) and continuously walking around the room. This shows that actions may also not bear fruit. Zora Neale Hurston also uses the dialogue in her short story, “Sweat” to qualify Truth’s quote by showing two things: how words do not lead anywhere, and how actions also do not have a clear impact. First of all, the story begins with a conflict between Delia and her husband Sykes. All of her complaints are condescendingly dismissed by her husband, who even asks

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