The Yellow Wallpaper

913 WordsNov 10, 20084 Pages
“The Yellow Wallpaper” For quite a long time before the past century, the female gender had been a race characterized by limited opportunity and the widespread belief of inferiority to the male gender. It was not until the women’s rights movement took off in the 1920’s that women began to enjoy having the same opportunities as men and playing an active role in society. Before that time, women were perceived as being inferior to their male counterparts and received less respect than men. This resulted in devastating effects on the female psyche, including debasement of character and even catastrophic mental illness. Countless tails of woe written by the women of that terribly oppressed time period convey the isolation, humiliation, and…show more content…
The protagonist’s mental decline serves to illustrate the results of the aforementioned inferior treatment of women by their male counterparts. As one critic argues, “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ [is] a story of female confinement and escape.” (Korb) The aspect of confinement is illustrated in the protagonist’s husband preventing her from expressing herself in a healthy fashion. The escape occurs when the protagonist looses her sanity and is reduced to a psychotic wreck as a result of her husband’s treatment. In the 19th century, the female gender faced limited opportunity and the widespread belief of inferiority to the male gender. Women were viewed as being frail, weak, and in constant need of a man to help her do even the most basic tasks. This resulted in devastating effects on the female psyche, including debasement of character and even catastrophic mental illness. Literature written by the women of the aforementioned time period conveys the isolation, humiliation, and agony experienced by the females of that time. The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, serves as an excellent example of such a piece of literature. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates subordinate standing of the female role in the 19th century and how such social conditions can have a devastating effects impact on the human mind. (Wilson) Works Cited

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