The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman addresses two distinct social injustices in her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” She discusses the 19th Century oppression of women and the treatment those with mental illnesses endured. Gilman herself has experience with both injustices, which is why her story is considerably semi-autobiographical. She conjures up fictional story with the help of the realities of society and some factual personal experiences. Gilman exposes the actualities of such injustices in a way that reveals their truths to her readers and condemns those who use and accept them. Charlotte Perkins Gilman parallels the character Jane in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” through her own experience with and knowledge of women’s oppression and…show more content…
Gilman begins the story telling how Jane is oppressed not only by her husband, but by any male authority figure. This is evident when Jane states, “If a physician of high standing and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression…a slight hysterical tendency… what is one to do?” (Gilman 310). This statement is the first instance where Gilman shows the reader that men hold a higher status in society. Hudock shares that the 19th century society was built on unequal power in relationships which caused women to lack courage and self-esteem to assert themselves (1-3). As the story continues Jane tells how she feels in her relationship with John. She states, “It is hard to talk with John about my case, because he loves me so” (Gilman 315). It shows that she definitely lacks courage and self-esteem to assert herself when it comes to John, and again when she says, “I am a comparative burden already” (Gilman 312). It can be inferred that there is more to the oppression of women than just merely being restrained to a societal standard. These statements also tie into Hudock’s belief that men who hold power deprive women of meaningful activity, purpose, and self-definition (1-3). Jane understands that because she is a woman there are certain trials
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