Essay On The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper is a semi-autobiographical short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Before proceeding directly to the analysis of this short story, it is important to understand the writer herself. Gilman used her personal struggle with postpartum depression, to create a powerful fictional story, which has wide subtext for women. When the narrator admits that there is more than one captured crawling woman Gilman points out that the meaning of her story goes beyond the isolated, individual situation. The main goal of writing this story is to rescue the women from further suffering under “rest cure” and to condemn the oppression of women, which was usual for the twentieth century. The most prominent technical and stylistic feature of the…show more content…
Readers know the name of the narrator's husband (John), but her name is not mentioned anywhere; her identity is simply the wife of John. This imbalance of power applies to other areas of their relationship. John dominates over his wife, hiding it under the guise of concern for her. He forbids her to do anything that will employ her mind productively, and generally refers to her as a child, for example, he says: "blessed little goose". At first, the story-teller tries to fight against the growing oppression. She even challenges John’s treatment by writing the diary. Yet, while one part of her may believe John wrong, another part believes that since he is the man, the doctor, and therefore the authority, he may be right. Because they hold unequal power positions in the relationship and in society, she lacks the courage and self-esteem to assert her will over his even though she knows that his “treatment” is harming her. When he tells to practice in self-control over her irritation with him, the effect is ironic; he controls everything and even makes her feel ungrateful for such a care. Almost every aspect of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is ironic in some way. For example, the narrator writes: “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.” Certainly in a healthy marriage, such things are not acceptable. Later, she says, “I am glad my case is not serious,” at a point when it is clear that is
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