ENC 3014-MidTerm Paper
March 12, 2012 Structuralism & Feminist Theory
‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ written by Charlotte Gilman can be affectively analyzed from two schools of thought structuralism and feminist theory. Though structuralists’ deny the work of literature any connection to its author (it must be what it is, no underlying meaning) feminist theory must first and foremost be understood in its historical framework. By the turn of the century, journals, art galleries, and works of fiction were swamped with notions about how to be a proper woman in middle class society. With industrialization, urbanization, declining birth rates, amplified divorce rates, the shift away from the home and…show more content… John’s sister is the exemplary woman; one who is pleased with her life, and wishes for no more. John’s wife, however, is revolting on her place in society by writing. This is why she includes the statement “I verily believe …… makes me sick!” (Gilman).
The chief source of the narrator 's mental state is her dictatorial husband who suppresses her emotional and creative inclinations and compels her to focus on the objects that surround her. This apathy shoves her deeper into insanity. John confines her in a room that has no getaway with bars on the windows and fixed bed, which is “nailed down.” Her developing insanity is a form of rebellion and a way to gain her own independence from marriage as well. Her fight to set the woman in the wallpaper free denotes her battle for freedom. This paragraph is extremely important to the story, portraying not only how the woman feels about herself, but also what her husband 's therapy is doing to her. Her description of the paper being "dull enough to confuse the eye" and "constantly irritating and provoking study" is alluding to her sense of inferiority and burden. The "lame uncertain curves" she speaks of are likely to reference the ridiculous suggestions that he husband makes for her, and "suicide" being the fate that is destined to result if followed. The "unheard of contradictions" express the faultiness of John 's methods. She describes him at one point: "He says no one but myself can