Yellow Wallpaper

1095 Words Jul 14th, 2013 5 Pages
Feminist studies generally focus on the role that hysterical diagnoses and treatments played in reinforcing the prevailing, male-dominant gender roles through the subversion, manipulation and degrading of female experience through the use of medical treatments and power structures. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “ The Yellow Wallpaper” is a perfect example of these themes. In writing this story, Charlotte Perkins Gilman drew upon her own personal experiences with hysteria. The adoption of the sick-role was a product of-and a reaction against gender norms and all of the pressures and tensions that their satisfaction demanded. Gilman’s essay uses autobiographical experiences displayed as doppelganger quality the in the main narrator of the …show more content…
Kessler emphasizes the point that this one short story seemed parallel and mirror the views of Gilman in regards to the oppression of women in her society. Comparing the two, Kessler writes, “This once she was able to join her public and private expressions in a work of devastating impact” (Kessler 1991 p.159). Gilman, who was a leader and crusader in the women’s rights movement, tried to expel away the gender bias that plague women, just as the narrator in her story tries to pull off the wallpaper in her room to free the trapped women behind it. The patriarchal society at that time period was Gilman’s wallpaper. She had to work hard at trying to force through societal changes. Just like the resistant old wallpaper in her story, ridged and yellow with age, Gilman and her counterparts had much difficulty in pushing through the wallpaper of tradition.
Unlike the narrator in the story, who eventually frees from behind the wallpaper " I’ve got out at last…And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”(Gilman 1899 p.9) Gilman did not live to see her life’s work complete. As only small advances in Woman’s Rights were made before her passing in 1935. Gilman’s freedom from confinement is not into insanity when she finally rips down the paper, but goes through a crisis

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