The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

Decent Essays

It Can Be a Woman’s World Too As a well-known author, sociologist, and feminist of the 19th and 20th century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman will spend most of her adult life publishing stories to highlight social injustices and work with feminist groups to fight for gender equality (Davis, Cynthia). Gilman uses personal experiences to influence her written and political work. Feminist criticism understands and exploits the “social forces that have historically kept the sexes from achieving total equality” (criticism). In the late 1800s, society expects men and women to behave certain ways based on the stereotypes created by society. As a feminist, Gilman challenges these stereotypes of gender-specific roles in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Through her depiction of the dominating husband, the submissive wife, and the misunderstanding and treatment of women’s health, Gilman makes the reader question the inequality between men and women.

Gilman has never been afraid to speak her mind about masculine roles in society and she does not hold back in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. When John, the husband, and doctor of the narrator, appears in the story she often uses a cynical tone. During Gilman’s time period men often dismissed a woman’s thoughts, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage” (wallpaper). The frustration Gilman expresses is that men felt women are inferior and that a woman’s voice held no value in their marriage. "If a physician of high standing, and one's

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