Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to show how women undergo oppression by gender roles. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman’s changes in mental state. The narrator in this story becomes so oppressed by her husband that she actually goes insane. The act of oppression is very obvious within the story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and shows how it changes one’s life forever.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman is known as the first American writer who has feminist approach. Gilman criticises inequality between male and female during her life, hence it is mostly possible to see the traces of feminist approach in her works. She deals with the struggles and obstacles which women face in patriarchal society. Moreover, Gilman argues that marriages cause the subordination of women, because male is active, whereas female plays a domestic role in the marriage. Gilman also argues that the situation should change; therefore women are only able to accomplish full development of their identities. At this point, The Yellow Wallpaper is a crucial example that shows repressed woman’s awakening. It is a story of a woman who
In The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman discusses the oppression men have towards women through the story of a nameless narrator during the 19th century. In the story, the unknown narrator, a woman, is telling her struggle for freedom and her fight to escape from the subordination in her marriage with a physician. In the story, the narrator suffers an illness that prevents her from doing things she likes such as writing. Throughout her illness, the narrator slowly becomes aware of her situation and then starts to fight to change her living condition with her husband. Through the use of two major symbols established throughout the text, Gilman brings awareness of women’s struggle to end their oppression by men and their fight to change the way society is dominated by men. In addition, the symbols used by Gilman underline the way women suffrage awareness slowly began to spread during the 19th century.
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, is a great example of early works pertaining to feminism and the disease of insanity. Charlotte Gilman’s own struggles as a woman, mother, and wife shine through in this short story capturing the haunting realism of a mental breakdown.The main character, much like Gilman herself, slips into bouts of depression after the birth of her child and is prescribed a ‘rest cure’ to relieve the young woman of her suffering. Any use of the mind or source of stimulus is strictly prohibited, including the narrator’s favorite hobby of writing. The woman’s husband, a physician, installs into his wife that the rest treatment is correct and will only due harm if not followed through. This type of treatment ultimately drives the woman insane, causing her to envision a woman crawling behind the yellow wallpaper of her room. Powerlessness and repression the main character is subject to creates an even more poignant message through the narrator’s mental breakdown. The ever present theme of subordination of women in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is advanced throughout the story by the literary devices of symbolism, imagery, and allegory.
Women’s Rights has been a point of contention for a very long time. Especially during the late 19th and 20th century, it was a seemingly unorthodox idea in a patriarchal society. This is what makes Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper a feminist piece still analyzed to this day. It was a story that was arguably ahead of its time, as was Gilman, with her utopian feminist ideals. She wrote the book with some introspection of her own postpartum depression. The Yellow Wallpaper has been deemed a classic feminist literature piece due to its layers of deeper meaning, achieved through Gilman’s use of symbolism, character, and setting, construed by many to represent the struggles faced by women in the late 19th century.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman once said, ‘’There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver’’. Gilman’s belief that there’s no difference in means of mentality between men or women demonstrated through ‘’The Yellow Wallpaper’’. Gilman symbolically portrays that women suffer from psychological disorders caused by lack of love, care, and a constant pressure of secondary roles and personal unimportance in social life. The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story about a woman who has a mental illness but cannot heal due to her husband’s lack of belief. The story appears to take place during a time frame where women were oppressed. The short story can be analyzed in depth by both the psycho-analytic theory and
In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, women were often portrayed in a world dominated by men. In women literature, we see that women are controlled by their husbands or sometimes by men influences. In “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman, one can see the exact thing happening in a woman’s life. The narrator who is characterized as a woman suffering from post-partum depression which always occur after mothers give birth, is being controlled and repressed by her husband. The narrator is oppressed, representing most oppressed women in the society.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” is one of those unique stories that no two people will come away from with the same impression. At its core, it is a simple story of a young mother who is struggling with new aspects of her life. Her caring, loving husband and housekeeper are concerned for her well-being so they attempt to help her by removing all her daily duties. This is a rather simplistic and naïve take on what might be one of the greatest stories written about woman’s rights and mental illness. In her essay A New Woman's Journey into Insanity Descent and Return in The Yellow Wallpaper, Rula Quawas writes about Charlotte Gilman importance to women's rights, saying “Gilman is one of the leading intellectuals of the feminist
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) whom is most acclaimed for her short story The Yellow Wallpaper (1891) was a women’s author that was relatively revolutionary. Gilman makes an appalling picture of captivity and confinement in the short story, outlining a semi-personal photo of a young lady experiencing the rest cure treatment by her spouse, whom in addition to being her husband was also her therapist. Gilman misused the rest cure in The Yellow Wallpaper to alarm other ladies of the harming impacts of the treatment.
During the 19th century European and American women lived during a time in which was characterized by gender inequality. In the beginning of the century, women enjoyed only a few of the legal, social, or political rights that we now take for granted: they could not vote, and were barred from institutions of higher education. Women were expected to remain obedient to their fathers and husbands. Occupational choices were also tremendously limited. Middle- and upper-class women generally remained home, caring for their children and running the home. Lower-class women often did work outside the home, but usually as poorly-paid domestic servants or laborers in factories or mills. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s essay The Yellow Wallpaper addressed and portrayed these many issues that women faced during this time.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story about a woman who has a mental illness but cannot heal due to her husband’s lack of belief. The story appears to take place during a time period where women were oppressed. Women were treated as second rate people in society during this time period. Charlotte Perkins Gilman very accurately portrays the thought process of the society during the time period in which “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written. Using the aspects of Feminist criticism, one can analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman through the dialogue through both the male and female perspective, and through the symbol found in the story.
Traditionally, women were described in a sense that is dominated by men in literary works. However, Charlotte Perkins Gilman connected the social phenomenon in that time with her personal experience to create a feministic fictional narrative “The Yellow Wall-paper” which is about an unnamed woman who has postpartum depression and is sent to a house by her husband in order to cue her mental illness, and finally gets mad because of her self-centred and dominating husband. The narrator, a nameless women in order to symbolize any wife, mother, or woman, is oppressed and clearly represents the significant influence from the oppression of women. Gilman uses symbolism to portray the narrator’s self-expression and the oppression she suffers in the
Throughout Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the unnamed woman is controlled by her husband in the male dominant society. Many Ideals of patriarchy are seen throughout this story which has negative effects on the woman. Even today in 2017, women and men are still discriminated against. Women have made it a long way since this story was written in 1892, only gaining the right to vote in 1920, by the 19th amendment. Also before 1789 women were not even seen as “people”. Even though by law women and men are equal today, men still seem to dominate society and still have more power socially. This story is used to express the feminist views of Gilman, illustrating hardships faced by women during the eighties. This is expressed through the setting of the story and the actions of John, her husband. Throughout the story, the author speaks of the captivity and the everyday struggles placed on women by society during this time in age. Many people think that she wrote this story to express her personal experiences. In her outlook, gender roles should be eliminated from the social order for women to be unrestricted. By looking at this story by Gilman, we can see the symbolism of mistreatment of all women in general, which most readers don’t see; this is important because to this day women are still discriminated against and it needs to change.