Experiences Of Women In 'The Yellow Wall-Paper And' To Room Nineteen

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The Yellow Wall-Paper" (1892) and "To Room Nineteen" (1964) are stories that deal with gender and its role in shaping the lives and experiences of women. In both stories, female characters are represented as oppressed, sensitive, emotional, insane, and weak. On other hand, it is seen that male characters are represented as dependent, rational, and dominant. In "The Yellow Wall-Paper," we see a woman suffering from postpartum depression and being prescribed "rest-cure" treatment by her physician-husband. The unnamed woman is confined to an upstairs room with yellow wallpaper and forbidden from engaging in any meaningful activity or work. The protagonist is demonstrated as a sensitive, creative, and intelligent woman. She tries to express herself …show more content…

He believes that his wife's condition is not so bad, even though his treatment is harming her mental health. He is also shown to be dismissive of her feelings and desires and is not willing to listen to her concerns. His attitude to his wife is very disrespectful, and disturbing. She needs his permission to do anything like visit her cousin, he even forbids her to write, and work. She cannot even express her ideas freely, as she is afraid of his reactions. In addition to making her feel depressed, nervous, lonely, angry, and limited, he also makes her feel worthless and discouraged. In her following sentence, we can see how she internalized the feeling of worthlessness: “I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 9). Also, through “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” we can see how the patriarchal medical establishment can harm women by denying them agency and autonomy over their bodies. For example, the protagonist states her husband underestimates her illness, and she accuses him of preventing her from getting well. However, she stays silent and obedient, which makes her angry and …show more content…

She cannot do anything to her husband directly, she tears down the wallpaper as a reaction. About this issue, Karen Ford interprets the symbol of wallpaper and its connection with male discourse in her essay: “The wallpaper, in fact, sometimes appears like male discourse in its capacity to contradict and immobilize the women who are trapped within it. In this view, the narrator releases herself (and other women) from the paper by tearing it down” (311). Because the narrator says “I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back" (Gilman 23). From this aspect, the wallpaper and the woman gain different meanings: “The wallpaper is women's writing or women's discourse, and the woman in the wallpaper to be the representation of women that becomes possible only after women obtain the right to speak”

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