The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Gilman

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The perception of the Other in literature can take on several forms and on one line of thought it is considered to be “an individual who is perceived by the group as not belonging; as being different in some fundamental way” (The City University of New York). The group sees itself as the standard and judges those who do not meet that standard. The Other is almost always seen as a lesser or inferior being and is treated accordingly. They are perceived as lacking essential characteristics possessed by the group. For an example, Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” portrays a woman narrator as being the Other. The gender division, an important component of the late nineteenth-century society, is exemplified in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” much more significantly than in the typical “American” literary work. It attempts to shed light on the fierce alter egos and divided selves of the dominant tradition. However, the narrator seems to contradict the traditional feminine roles and becomes hysterical as her way of revolting. Gilman effectively uses the narrator’s intuition, obedience, and secret rebellion to challenge the authority John embodies as a husband and physician. This also engages the basic issue of late nineteenth-century assumptions about men and women. In this aspect, this essay aims to explore in detail the gender otherness present within the story and how this contrasts the central idea of what it is to essentially be “American”.
Being described as an
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