The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman proves that women were treated poorly before the 20th century, and that in their marriages they had no say, and were considered inferior to their husbands. This paper will analyze Gilman’s short story from the perspective of a depressed woman in the late 18th century to the early 19th century. Before the 20th century women were treated poorly, we can see this in Gilman’s text, “.... he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?” (56) The narrator suffers from postpartum depression, but before the 20th century woman were considered inferior to men, and mental illness either did not exist or had horrible alternatives to get better. At first glance it looks like maybe her husband is right, and she is just suffering from “...temporary… depression” (56). As the character …show more content…
The repetition “And what can one do?” (56) John does not believe her, when she tell him that she is sick. “what is one to do?” (56) It is only temporary. (56) “But what is one to do?” (57) The narrator believes that “congenial work, with excitement and change…” (57). Would do her some good, but again John forbiddens her from working. During this time period some men would want the classic housewife, good cook, good mother, able to do everything that a housewife would do, and nothing more. Even John’s sister believes that “the writing..” (60) Has made the narrator sick. But John’s sister is, “.... a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper… hopes for no better profession. (60). So both John and his sisters views are clouded by their own personal beliefs. If a women before the 20th century was to try and become a writer, or, anything more than a housewife it would be considered weird or unheard of, because it was thought to be a man’s job, the women's place in in the
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Throughout history women have challenged patriarchal norms, changing the standards. In the book, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, women are constantly told what they should do, and what they should want. Ness should want to work inside the house, Abena should want to marry for power, and Marjorie should want to be asked to prom. However, unlike other women characters in the book, these three characters challenged their assumed positions as women and in doing so gave their families and men in their lives a new perspective. Every generation made strides in women’s rights, but even as rights and laws adapted to new times, there were still limitations on women that they needed to overcome.
Here when analyzing the newly cleaned floor that she has just swept, she compares it to cleaned dishes, implying that she washes dishes as well. Through her expertise in several types of cleaning, the reader can see the gender role of women being chained to house work. The judgment passed on women that they know how to clean and how to do it well serves as one of the main feminist point of views in today’s culture. This demonstrates the classic opinion of women’s role during important times of history; the women of the family simply stay at home and clean while the husband is most likely off fighting in the
In her article, “Three Inventories, Three Households”, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich argues that women’s work was crucial not simply for subsistence but that “women were essentials in the seventeenth century for the very same reasons they are essentials today-for the perpetuation of the race” (Ulrich 51). She believes, women were expected to do everything. They were not only to take care of the children, but they were also cook, clean, raise the greens and ranches. Mainly, women plays important role for the survival and continuation of life.
She was not satisfied as a housewife and wondered if other women felt the same. So, she surveyed her peers from Smith College What she concluded became the Feminine Mystique. Women’s personal identity as mothers and housewife was not fulfilling enough. Women suffered frustration because their only responsibility was the children and husband without exploring their intelligence and abilities. (History.org) Betty Friedan launches her nonfiction account of the twentieth-century
John gives her phosphates, tonics, air, exercise and does not allow her to “work” until she is well again. While Charlotte thinks that work, excitement, and change would do her good. But she feels unable to do that because of her husband’s demands. John does not even like it when Charlotte talks about her condition so she avoids it. She does do one thing John doesn’t approve of, she writes and I believe this is what kept her
In the 1960s women were limited in almost every aspect from their work place to their families. During this time period about 38% of women who worked mostly occupied the jobs as teachers, nurse, or secretaries. In 1962 a women by the name of Betty Friedan wrote a book called “The Feminine Mystique”. This book focused on college educated housewives who felt trapped in the system. Friedan shocked the world by contradicting the role of what a housewife is supposed to do.
During the 1950’s, the typical American women was a housewife without career aspirations as Betty Friedan described in The Feminine Mystique. Many women “pitied their poor frustrated mothers, who dreamed of having a career” (Friedan 2). This mindset made other women desire being housewives. Even though Friedan called for the end of gender roles, many women still disagreed with her and stood by Barbara Welter’s virtues from the “Cult of True Womanhood”. Despite being shown a better way of life, they still believed all women should be submissive and domestic.
In the pastoralization of housework, woman found a new dynamic in the family system by becoming influencers. Boydston writes, “‘...in which wives were described as deities “who presides over the sanctities of domestic life, and administer its sacred rights….”” With the romanization of housework woman found themselves placed on a higher pedestal, and with this newly found power, women were able to influence their husband’s decisions. Women during the Antebellum period were described as “holy and pious” and they were seen as the more religious being out of the two sexes, so it was customary for women to use their power to help the family stay on the right path. Mrs. A. J. Graves supported this idea and directly connects women’s role of taking care of the home to a station which God and nature assigned her.
John’s sister lives with him and his wife and aids them with their house chores. She is “a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper”, as all women are expected to be “and hopes for no better profession” (1070). She helps John and the narrator with their baby whom the narrator cannot be with because “it makes [her] so nervous” (1068). In addition to being a good maid, John’s sister also “thinks it is the writing which made [the narrator] sick!” (1070).
Her husband, John, is a physician who tells her that the only way to be cured is to do nothing. Meaning the narrator isn’t able to write, even though she secretly writes anyway. The wife is forced to hide her depression in order to pretend in front of everyone that she
John refuses to change the wallpaper being he thinks it suits her well, he states “If he were to change it that,the next doing will be barred windows as well as a heavy bedstead.” The Wife dislikes that he would say such towards her even with her mental sickness.
In her essay, “The Importance of Work,” from The Feminine Mystique published in 1963, Betty Friedan confronts American women’s search for identity. Throughout the novel, Betty Friedan breaks new ground, concocting the idea that women can discover personal fulfillment by straying away from their original roles. Friedan ponders on the idea that The Feminine Mystique is the cause for a vast majority of women during that time period to feel confined by their occupations around the house; therefore, restricting them from discovering who they are as women. Friedan’s novel is well known for creating a different kind of feminism and rousing various women across the nation.
The dynamic between men and women has been examined in literature since the age of Chaucer and has progressed as time passed. By the Victorian Age, women were seen as the submissive half of their husbands who stayed home to run the household while the husband went to work. Women were also placed upon a pedestal that a human is incapable of reaching. The Victorian view of women was highlighted in Christina Rossetti’s poem “