"The Yellow Wallpaper" tells the story of a woman living in the nineteenth century who suffers from postpartum depression. The true meaning implicit in Charlotte's story goes beyond a simple psychological speculation. The story consists of a series of cleverly constructed short paragraphs, in which the author illustrates, through the unnamed protagonist's experiences, the possible outcome of women's acceptance of men's supposed intellectual superiority. The rigid social norms of the nineteenth century, characterized by oppression and discrimination against women, are supposedly among the causes of the protagonist's depression. However, it is her husband's tyrannical attitude what ultimately
The story "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story about control. In the late 1800's, women were looked upon as having no effect on society other than bearing children and keeping house. It was difficult for women to express themselves in a world dominated by males. The men held the jobs, the men held the knowledge, the men held the key to the lock known as society . . . or so they thought. The narrator in "The Wallpaper" is under this kind of control from her husband, John. Although most readers believe this story is about a woman who goes insane, it is actually about a woman’s quest for control of her life.
Women struggled with society to gain status equal to men and their efforts were found in many literary works.. Famous authors such as Mary Wollestonecraft, Alice Walker, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman herself published works that expressed these views and served as a creative outlet similar to the narrator of 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'
Gender roles seem to be as old as time and have undergone constant, but sometime subtle, revisions throughout generations. Gender roles can be defined as the expectations for the behaviors, duties and attitudes of male and female members of a society, by that society. The story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a great example of this. There are clear divisions between genders. The story takes place in the late nineteenth century where a rigid distinction between the domestic role of women and the active working role of men exists (“Sparknotes”). The protagonist and female antagonists of the story exemplify the women of their time; trapped in a submissive, controlled, and isolated domestic sphere, where they are treated
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a creative woman whose talents are suppressed by her dominant husband. His efforts to oppress her in order to keep her within society's norms of what a wife is supposed to act like, only lead to her mental destruction. He is more concerned with societal norms than the mental health of his wife. In trying to become independent and overcome her own suppressed thoughts, and her husbands false diagnosis of her; she loses her sanity. One way the story illustrates his dominance is by the way he, a well-know and
Traditionally, men have held the power in society. Women have been treated as a second class of citizens with neither the legal rights nor the respect of their male counterparts. Culture has contributed to these gender roles by conditioning women to accept their subordinate status while encouraging young men to lead and control. Feminist criticism contends that literature either supports society’s patriarchal structure or provides social criticism in order to change this hierarchy. “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, depicts one women’s struggle against the traditional female role into which society attempts to force her and the societal reaction
‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is centred in the writer’s narration, by setting the narrator to be not entirely reliable and an oppressed woman. The character are showed to be feeling trapped and unhappy with
The yellow wallpaper is the most obvious symbol found in the story. The yellow wallpaper symbolizes how women were portrayed in the nineteenth century. In the story the narrator describes the wallpaper as "One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns, pronounced enough sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide - plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard-of contraindications" (Gilman 545). The narrator basically feels that her life is dull and boring which can lead to her committing suicide. Later on in the story the wallpaper was described as “The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing. You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it turns back somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream” (Gilman 548). The pattern in the wallpaper basically represents the narrator’s mindset. The narrator calls herself “hideous” and “unreliable.” Women during this time period were often view as “unreliable”
Life during the 1800s for a woman was rather distressing. Society had essentially designated them the role of being a housekeeper and bearing children. They had little to no voice on how they lived their daily lives. Men decided everything for them. To clash with society 's conventional views is a challenging thing to do; however, Charlotte Perkins Gilman does an excellent job fighting that battle by writing “The Yellow Wallpaper,” one of the most captivating pieces of literature from her time. By using the conventions of a narrative, such as character, setting, and point of view, she is capable of bringing the reader into a world that society
The yellow wallpaper is a symbol of oppression in a woman who felt her duties were limited as a wife and mother. The wallpaper shows a sign of female imprisonment. Since the wallpaper is always near her, the narrator begins to analyze the reasoning behind it. Over time, she begins to realize someone is behind the
The short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman gives a brilliant description of the plight of the Victorian woman, and the mental agony that her and many other women were put through as "treatment" for depression when they found that they were not satisfied by the life they had been given.
Throughout history men and women were thought to have by nature different roles in society because of patriarchal ideologies that regard a women’s role as the “Other” while men have assumed the role of dominance. While this ideology isn’t new, it is something that has been ingrained throughout cultures as a way to establish a hierarchy. Stories like The Yellow Wallpaper and The Orphanage help to metaphorically tell a tale of women who have lost something dear to them, causing immense distress that is viewed as weak characteristics from dominate figures. In much of supernatural lore things like poltergeists or the women in white are female characters that are used as symbols of evil, death, or the afterlife to portray a different sense of feminine culture that implies the worthlessness of female roles in society. Using women by objectifying and symbolically portraying them throughout culture as subservient beings is a way of establishing an old ideology that views women as submissive and inferior to men.
It does not take the form of the traditional symbol of security for the domestic
In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the narrator is completely affected and dominated by the patriarchal system. The narrator feels emotionally exhausted as she always keep herself in line in order not to show her anger or aggression toward her husband John "I take pains to control myself – before him, at least, and that makes me very tired"( 793). Even though she feels the need to express her feelings and anger she does not do that because in the patriarchal environment that is not accepted and women are not supposed to speak up or be angry at their husbands or any male figure in their lives'. Besides holding back her feeling, the narrator feels that John is not aware of her feelings and how much she suffers "John does not know how much I really suffer"(794). Despite the fact that she constantly teeling him how she feels about her recovery and the house he does not listen.