Male Order Bride Essay

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Male Order Bride “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story narrated by a woman who is losing her mind. When the narrator admits her mental illness, she is told by her husband John, a doctor, to rest and do as little thinking as possible. This only drives her madness and makes the reader question the abilities of her husband. Does he really care about her if he cannot see that his own advice is driving her mad? The “rest cure” was not made up by her husband; it was a common practice during the late 1800’s and was believed to be effective for the most part because of society’s views of women. John misunderstands his wife not at the fault of his heart but at that of society. Although it seems that it is John’s fault…show more content…
It was typically thought of in this time period that the man of the house was a strong commanding figure. One who took care of business, handled family affairs and one who always knew what was best. Furthermore, what was “best” for a man’s wife was for her to be a domestic housewife. A wife who did little thinking, takes care of the children and who does not work. John’s wife really needs to break free of these stereotypes in order to feel fulfilled as a person. She says that “it is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about [her] work,” and that she believes that “congenial work, with excitement and change, would do [her] good.” John however does not realize this because he is still so involved in the patriarchal society. There is no one who is believable around him to explain this new way of thinking. He is very resistant to the change in his wife’s behavior about her place in society because it will also make him seem like less of a man. He has a reputation as a doctor and since he interacts with people who still believe in gender roles he is held down to their standards as well or he would risk losing his practice. Similarly many doctor’s of the time believed strongly in the rest cure for women and if John to go against this common practice he would be questioned by many physicians. This is not to say that John shouldn’t
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