Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is a story about a woman’s struggle to be heard in a society working against her. The narrator has been diagnosed with “nervous depression” (648), and her physician husband decides to take her to a mansion to help her recover; her recovery also involves not participating in any activity that might stimulate her mind, like writing. The narrator describes the house as having “hedges and walls and gates that lock” (648), and the room she has to stay in has bars on the windows, almost like a prison. The narrator also points out the hideous wallpaper, and makes many references to it throughout the story. This wallpaper symbolizes much more than horrid design; it is a symbol of the narrator’s, and other
The narrator describes John as a dominant man who knows best for everyone, especially his wife because he is a physician. Because John is the strong man, so his wife must be weak and submissive. What is seen in the text is perceived as a “traditional” marriage, for example, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that [in marriage]” (Gilman 111). This depicts women who are submissive and have no authority in the marriage this resembles the theme of the subordinate of marriage. Because John is the dominating man the wife just wants to please her husband so she remains submissive.
Analyzing John and the narrator’s perspectives throughout the plot brings insight into the cause of the mental problem. The narrator’s illness is caused by control issues, in turn, cause her to seek out a sense of true self. The fact that John ignores his wife’s feelings makes her illness worse. From John’s perspective, keeping his wife in the ugly, scary, barred room seems okay. During the time when the story takes place is a time when men dominated women.
John believes that his wife needs to get better from a nervous condition, so he takes her out to a country house to recover. He is often condescending to her and her needs, and whenever he does talk to her it is usually about his own problems. Furthermore, he does not permit her to do anything that involves work or creativity not even to write. The narrator writes in a secret diary as to provide any form of freedom and creativity that she desires as a human. John eventually finds the diary and destroys it, and John confines the narrator to a room with a yellow wallpaper that the narrator despises.
Hawthorne speculates that she does not want to leave because she cannot move on from her past actions of wrongdoing and feels an unspoken bond between her and her fellow adulterer. He further argues that she is viewed as a sinner in the opinion of Boston because she is the target of constant savage insults and is almost forced into seclusion. Although it may seem as though she wants to stay purely because of her stable income, or that the town views her as an important part of their society, she is still bound to the town by her commitment to her unknown lover and is still subject to incessant abuse by the townsfolk. If she were to leave, Hester would be acknowledging her society’s power over her life. She insists on her right to self-determination by staying in Boston and subjecting herself to non stop cruelty from the town.
Jewel “does not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth”, Faulkner’s idea is that Jewels behavior is solely due to the fact that his mother never really outwardly gave any of her children compassion so Jewel picked up on this and continued to keep up with this behavior (1 John 3:18). Darl’s behaviors on the other hand are quite selfish and only prove to be for the benefit of himself and his own self gain. Darl wants to have all the attention that he does not get from his mother to be solely on him and no one else. Faulkner’s reasoning behind the very different behaviors of these two brothers is to express the very extent in which the
She is tasked with the unfair role of caring for her family and looking for her dad. She could have given up, but her unconscious fear and lack of trust of men, left her to juggle both. Just like Ree, the rest of the women in the community take up this responsibility of a caretaker through their lack of trust in the men of the society. It is in this regard that Ree is forced to try and fix the molding of her brothers who seem to be destined to follow in the same footsteps of the men in their family, undependable and lacking a sense of responsibility. She identifies the unequivocal resemblance between Sonny and Blond Milton in that they have a “punishing spirit” (Woodrell 8).
Finally, Chopin represents how women are at liberty of men through blame. At this point in the story Desiree was on the verge of realizing the truth about her baby, and therefore that was putting strain on her relationship. This strain is illustrated when the story states “He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse...Desiree was miserable enough to die.” (3). The main focus of this quote is that her husband doesn’t refer to the baby as “theirs”, it is now solely “her’s”. With this, Chopin embodies the idea that the decision of the man has a great impact of the emotional state of the women.
This is ironic, because of her current situation as a mother. The room has bars on the windows, they were originally placed there to keep children safe while playing in the nursery. The next thing that draws her attention is the yellow wallpaper, she finds absolutely repulsive. She also notices that the bed is heavy and held in place by chains so that is can not move. Another hindrance the wife is aware of is the gate at the head of the stairs.