The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist text, telling a story about women’s struggles against a male-centric society. It clarifies that her good meaning, but oppressive husband John who pushes the nameless character to madness in attempt to help her while also showing that the behavior protocols could have devastating effects on women during the time period. While this is condescending behavior to the readers, when the story came out this was accepted and quite normal. The tone, images, and metaphors in the story show a woman triumphing in the only way she can over the repressive patriarchy.
The novel is an American Gothic novel set between the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). The novel follows Clara Wieland, as she struggles to find her place in society as she is faced with the loss of her virtue. Benjamin Franklin gives another example of loss of virtue in “The speech of Miss Polly Baker,” written in 1747. The speech shows what happens when a woman is given the right to defend herself against her accusers. Both works show the reality women faced when presented with the loss of their virtue.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, shows this injustice that women at the time were trying to fight. Patriarchal control is existent in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, but Gilman, herself, is also represented
The idea of a feminist narrator sets the template for a radical and forward-thinking novel. Gilman has claimed she wrote "TYW" to "Save people from being turned crazy" by the treatment of Mitchell and his peers. But just taking that as gospel would be foolish as there is far more contextual inspiration for the novel then just this. Gilman was raised by strong and rebellious female figures including her aunt Catherine Beecher who was the founder of the Hartford Female Seminary and her aunt Isabella who was a dedicated suffragist. Due to the absence of her father, Charlotte "learned early to question the sanctity of the home, the 'domestic mythology ' and the role assigned to women '.
Thirdly, the yellow wallpaper of the nursery itself symbolizes the domestic life that traps women in line with family, medicine and tradition imposed on by the patriarchal society of the Victorian era. The protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper anthropomorphizes the floral elements of the yellow wallpaper, wherein wallpaper is typically a feminine floral decoration on the interiors of walls. These elements signify the scrutiny this 19th-century Western society makes of lives of its womenfolk, particularly of women who are creative and insubordinate to their spouses. The protagonist is one such woman; her writing denounces her highly active imagination and the surreptitious persistence of her writing denounces her matrimonial and feminine disobedience which were considered radical in her contemporary society. Gilman expresses the suppression felt by women from societal scrutiny to be one of “strangling”, through the narrator, who in one instance describes the wallpaper pattern like so: “it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads… the pattern strangles them off and
In 1899, Kate Chopin introduced the world to one of the most dynamic fictional women in history in her revolutionary novel, The Awakening. A defiant, passionate, self-aware heroine, Edna Pontellier is the woman I would choose to converse with. At the time of its publication, The Awakening received unrelenting criticism for Edna’s bad parenting, disloyalty to her husband, promiscuity, and decision to take her life due to the overwhelming isolation she felt. I would like to ask Edna what she thinks of these criticisms.
In this article, Khawaja focuses on Morrison’s ability to transform the archetypal illusions of motherhood by recounting the guilt Sethe feels as she is forced to remember her choice to murder her daughter to save her from the tortures of slavery. Khawaja denotes that several American authors have encouraged new feminist perspectives by portraying mother-daughter relationships as a significant aspect of the family structure, especially when that family is facing cultural adversity.
Another example regarding Coleman’s use of feminine imagery to represent the struggles women of color face is found in her poem “95” in Mercurochrome. The poem illustrates the desperation women experience when they want to utilize and express their talents but are held back by social stigmas, such as motherhood. Schimdt argues that within the lines “I write about urban bleeders and breeders, but am troubled because their tragedies echo mine.” (Mer, 100) Coleman confesses her connection and empathy to “urban breeders” a metaphor for women of color who are mothers and “bleeders” a term that solidifies Coleman’s reference to women who also experience menstrual cycles. (Schmidt, 132) One could argue that Coleman’s confession is a testimony regarding people of color,
Gender Inequality: A Woman’s Struggle in “The Yellow Wallpaper” In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman captures the lives of women in a society based on societal expectations during the late nineteenth century. She focuses on the issue of gender inequality where women were often discriminated against and expected to fulfill the role of a perfect wife and mother. The narrator is based on on Gilman’s personal experience of suffering from her treatment for postpartum depression due to the social restrictions on women which represents a reflection on women's social status in society. The narrator, who remains anonymous, is depicted as a depressed and isolated prisoner who is oppressed under her husband’s control and struggles to break free.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an American feminist, novelist, and sociologist, was one of the leader of this social reform, and her contributions to the independence of women were greatly preponderant. Married to an artist named Charles Stetson, Charlotte was unhappy and depressed with her marriage.
Gender stereotypes have been around for centuries, dating as far back as the ancient Greeks. It was once believed that men’s lives were made up of many stages, known as the “ages of man”. These stages began with the physical and emotional maturity processes and ended with the man’s involvement in work and public affairs. However, the stages of a woman’s life were not mentioned at all. A woman was thought to be a daughter, wife or mother; either married or to be married.
Susan S. Lanser’s “Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ and the politics of color in America” examines the impacts “The Yellow Wallpaper” had on feminist writing styles and critiques. Lanser writes that the story helps to analyze the reading trough “the lens of a female consciousness” and apply the knowledge gained from a female perspective onto other literature (418). The transition that the narrator displays from being dependent on John to becoming independent reflects the feminist movement and challenges the “male dominance” that currently takes precedence in society (418). The “patriarchal prisonhouse” that is society controls the narrator and oppresses women not only in “The Yellow Wallpaper” but in real life as well (419). The
The Yellow Wallpaper In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a married couple is getting their house renovated, and they rent a spooky house for three months. The wife believes she sees creepy things happening in the house but the husband disagrees and says everything is fine. During the short story, Gilman vividly describes the setting of the house to be a gloomy, mysterious place that she calls a “haunted house.” Gilman is trying to show that the woman is not allowed to present her expressions of the house to her husband, and she does not get to show her feelings, because he shows authority in the marriage.