Analysis Of Charlotte Perkins Stetson's The Yellow Wall-Paper

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Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s, The Yellow Wall-Paper, was written and set in the 1890s and is frequently attributed as a feminist short story. Stetson gives an intimate glimpse into the mind of a woman who, because of her experiences and treatment in a patriarchal social system, slowly descends into insanity. This was achieved through the use of Stetson’s personal account along with her feministic views which led to a story embodying symbolism of the hardships that women of this period faced.
Sometimes it can difficult to determine the inspiration behind a story, but in the case of Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s short story, The Yellow Wall-Paper, it was inspired by her own personal experiences. According to Lone Star College, Stetson lived in
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It was difficult for women to achieve freedom of thought because they were being trapped in the mental confinement of their husband of whom they are bound to because they are dependent on them.) From a feminist viewpoint, it is apparent in this story that John is a prime example of a typical man from the late 1800s who has total control over his wife. John treats his wife like his subordinate and makes her miserable to the point to where she believes that it is just a normal part of a woman’s life. She notes that “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.” This mindset the narrator upholds leads her to a point of where she feels so unhappy that the parallelism between the grotesque wallpaper and her feelings in the marriage becomes apparent. As Feminist Studies puts it, “[. . .] the narrator 's main task becomes one of interpretation — of trying to read the wallpaper—and it is precisely this process of interpretation that becomes both maddening and ultimately liberating” (Nadkarni, 219). In the beginning of the story, the yellow wallpaper in the narrator’s bedroom begins as just an annoyance because of its unpleasant appearance, but as the story continues, the narrators continuing discontent beings to show a feeling of being trapped. The trapped feelings begin by the narrator seeing the pattern as “a broken neck with two bulbous eyes” which later turns into a “formless sort of figure, that seems to sulk behind that silly and conspicuous front design.” As the narrator becomes increasingly distant from John, the wallpaper becomes more and more hated, and as she continues to stare deeper into the wallpaper, she is finally able to distinguish what the figure is: a woman. The woman in the wallpaper constantly shakes at “bars” on the pattern and she is always creeping about and trying to climb through and escape, but there
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