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Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Yellow Wallpaper: Repression



"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman is sad story of the

repression that women face in the days of late 1800's as well as being

representative of the turmoils that women face today. Gilman writes "The

Yellow Wallpaper" from her own personal experiences of having to face the

overwhelming fact that this is a male dominated society and sometimes women

suffer because of it.

The narrator, being female, is suffering from a "temporary

depression". She states right from the beginning that "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

the one reason I
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Perhaps to save her own sanity?

Once the narrator determines that the image is in fact a woman

struggling to become free, she somehow aligns herself with the woman. In

the story she mentions that she often sees the woman creeping outside. "I

see her in that long shaded lane, creeping up and down. I see her in

those dark grape arbors, creeping all around the garden.... I don't blame

her a bit. It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight!

I always lock the door when I creep by daylight. I can't do it at night,

for I know John would suspect something at once." This shows the narrator

seeing herself in the woman and when she sees the woman creeping outside,

she sees herself. When she creeps outside she locks the door. She is

afraid her husband will take away the only comfort she had know since she

was subjected to this "rest cure".

She continues to pursue this obsessive project of getting the

woman out. The narrator wants the woman to be free of the paper but does

not want to let her go. The woman is her sanity; "I don't want to go

out, and I don't want to have anybody come in, till John comes. I want to

astonish him. I've got a rope up her that even Jennie did not find. If

that woman does get out, and tries to get away, I can tie her!"

After peeling all the paper within her reach in hopes of getting

the woman out, she states, "I am getting angry enough to do something

desperate. To jump
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