The Yellow Wallpaper Feminism

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"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a story published in 1892 in the United States, was not well received by the critics of the time because of the subject matter. The indifference to the text is a product of the social constructs of the time, in which the feminist critique of hegemonic masculinity was far from finding the echo it would have in later ages. A woman who suffers from nervous depression spells out Gilman’s story in the first-person perspective. The cure to which she is subjected and the enmity, gradually lead her to interfere in the labyrinths of madness. These aspects reflect patriarchal oppression not only in the domestic environment, but also in the practices of the medical community for the treatment of diseases …show more content…

He forbids her to write but she does it secretly, in a kind of diary, a private and hidden place where she expresses her ideas, fears, and thoughts. The room that John chooses for his wife is a reflection of this hidden desire. She wants the bedroom on the first floor, but she agreed to be in a room with yellow wallpaper. In this sense, the yellow wallpaper could be interpreted as a projection of the narrator, who from the first pages reveals her desire and need to write, but also makes us accomplices of her activity as a writer in hiding. In addition, she does not only reveal her health condition but also her repression as a writer, a profession that, even in the nineteenth century, was viewed with distrust. The narrator reflects on the politics of separate spheres, as she questions her husband’s …show more content…

In this situation, the author produces a story that criticizes patriarchal ideas of the time in relation to femininity. In this story, the narrator faces with the impossibility of escaping by more rational physical pathways. Madness allows the narrator to escape from social and family control and to transgress all established norms. The narrator is frustrated when she realizes that her husband, a physician, does not recognize her state as a mental problem that needs to be worked on. By escaping from the conventions, the narrator frees herself from the schedules, and control of the guardians who guarded all her actions. It is true that the new situation isolates her from the others, but it assumes herself as a free autonomous subject. Now, it is she who decides not to leave the room and live in otherness. Insanity gives her on a certain inner level the possibility of escaping from traditional social constructions. Madness will be the factor that isolates her from society and at the same time will allow her to be free from the conventions and mandates of patriarchal society. Finally, she overcomes the patriarchal barriers which John represents as husband, doctor and a male, and thus reaffirms her identity as author and woman. In conclusion, “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents both a

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