Women and Gender Studies: the Yellow Wallpaper

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The stories of The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and A Room of One’s Own by Virgina Woolf are important to view in their historical contexts. Both novels demonstrate that there are limits placed on women that prevent them from living complete lives. This demeans women and does not give them the same rights and privileges as men. The Yellow Wallpaper demonstrates the attitudes during the nineteenth century that concern female mental and psychical health. Whereas A Room of One’s Own explores whether women are capable of writing great literature and the obstacles that they are faced. Each story demonstrates an common idea that women are viewed as unequal to men and that they must work a lot harder to achieve the respect…show more content…
Due to women being treated so differently, Woolf shows that even though Judith is just as talented as William she will never be as successful because she is a woman.

The Yellow Wallpaper is a type of story where the narrator writes to herself. Her descent into madness is both seen subjectively and objectively as the narrator portrays. If Gilman had told her story in a traditions first-person narration the events that are from inside the narrators head would not be able to be told and the reader would not know what she is thinking, and the women inside the wallpaper might seem to actually exist. If told in third-person narrative then the political symbolism would not be seen. Gilman also uses a journal to give the story intimacy and allow the narrator to put down thoughts and feelings. Whereas in A Room of One’s Own, the author gives the narrator a place where she can write what she thinks without any input or bother from society. A place for women to put down their thoughts and express themselves.

The Yellow Wallpaper demonstrates the nineteenth century attitudes concerning female physical and mental health. The narrator is confined to a room where she was driven mad. With the use of symbolism, Gilman allows the reader to see how women were treated and how unequal society may be. A Room of One’s Own explores whether women were capable f writing great literature and demonstrated obstacles that a female writer is faced with.
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