Throughout history, women have had to fight against stigma and stereotypes in society. In every era, from the ancient world to present day, females have been persecuted and taken advantage of due to their gender. In our previous set of readings, the female protagonists were strong characters who defied weak stereotypes, but were still viewed as lesser beings than men. In our second group of readings, where were written more recently, women saw a slight increase in their sovereignty. All depict women as powerful figures who use their wits to make a better life for themselves.
This wallpaper is a shade of yellow which the she first finds repulsive and horrible and then as she goes ‘mad’ she finds what used to be terrible, which is the very wallpaper itself, a very interesting and almost riveting aspect of her own personal hell. When placed in a historical context this personal hell is the confinement women felt when it came to the expression of their very own intelligent thoughts and ideas. On this yellow wallpaper she eventually deciphers an imprisoned woman whom she actually tries to ‘set free’ by peeling the paper off the wall with her very own fingers until her hands are bloody.
As Jane is ripping off the wallpaper, she is also tearing away her restraints that her husband had brought upon her. A description of the escape of the narrator states, “They just stood by their husbands, and became imprisoned by the power of their own lovers” (The Gentle Giant). During this time, it was normal for women to not have much of a say. Jane had been trapped all this time. She had listened to her husband’s command and abided by his rest cure that was prescribed to her.
Gender stereotypes have been around for hundreds of years and still are today. The stereotypes for women are strict in regards to jobs and homelife, behavior, and even attire. They keep a firm hold on women 's daily life, so whenever women get the opportunity for power, they will take it. Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, strongly features the stereotypes of women and, adversely, women in power; Kesey displays his opinion that women in power will abuse their status to manipulate men. One aspect of Kesey’s display of his distaste for influential women, is displayed through the character, Nurse Ratched (Big Nurse).
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a highly respected feminist of her era. Her semi-autobiographical “The Yellow Wallpaper” was an inspiring and a notable short story in the eyes of the feminists in the early 1890s. Her work toward representing woman’s health, both physically as mentally, became transcendent. She challenges how the men can oppress woman, even if not intentionally, by determining the best course of treatment without taking into consideration the woman’s point of view. It’s remarkable how these patterns happened through the centuries and is still occurring in some places.
Critical Statement: In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman employs exclamatory functions within her syntax to display the symbolism of the woman within the wallpaper to illustrate her own constricted freedom due the influence of the masculine dominance. In the beginning of the story, Gilman illustrates the wallpaper as a catalyst for exhibiting the intensity of the narrator’s psychological disorder. After the narrator and her husband settle into their new house, the narrator inspects her room, and begins discerning ominous relations and elements within the wallpaper.
During the American Modernist period the first wave of feminism emerged during this period which many of its characteristics is seen in The House of Mirth. Women actively sought changes that would allow them to experience life as men’s equals rather than as their subordinates. Gender roles were rigidly defined, and women who resisted them were often ignored, and/or criticized. As a result of these and many other limiting factors, women, especially wives, were significantly dependent on men. In Edith Wharton's Arguments with America, Elizabeth Ammons notes that:
In the “Awakening”, the author, Kate Chopin broke the nineteenth century standards of the ideal woman through the main character Edna Pontellier which sparked a lot of controversy. Mrs. Pontellier throughout the book has a journey of self discovery, as an independent woman who rebels against the social norms by leaving her husband. Chopin reaches out to her audience of women, to stand up against the oppression that they served due to the roles that were pressed upon them as caretakers of the house and as accessories to their husbands. Kate Chopin ended “The Awakening” with the suicide of Mrs. Pontellier because that is how Chopin gave Mrs. Pontellier her freedom, a freedom and rebirth from the harsh society that many women had to live during those times. The ending of the book sparked a lot of controversy over the way that Chopin decided to Edna Pontellier to make Edna commit suicide.
Halie Boyd The Yellow Wallpaper Theme Essay The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman focuses mainly on womens rights. In the early 1900 's women could not think for themselves, were controlled constantly by men and had no right to thrive for an education. Women in the late 1800 's and early 1900 's had no choice to fend or think for themselves. " Person)ally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and changed, would do me good" (Gilman 648).
Throughout the generation, women have always been trapped in some way or another. In the short story, ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ and the novel ‘The Awakening’ highlights the struggle of women in the late 1800’s and the early 1900s in society. The Yellow wallpaper is a short story about women giving birth and being imprisoned in a room with a weird view of the yellow wall-paper. This resulted in her hallucination lead to the development of mental illness. By the end of the story, she rips off the yellow wallpaper and kills her husband.
The woman was trapped in a barred, dirty room, imagining that she is locked up. Along with the thought that she must stay in that room, as her husband demanded, the wallpaper dominated her thoughts and made her pull “off most of the paper, so you can’t put me [her] back!”(9) After days of interpreting and thorough investigation of the women behind the bars creeping around, Gilman finally creates a direct association between her and the wallpaper for the first time in the book. The wallpaper is symbolic of how the woman would always have to creep around their husbands and if they wanted to be free they must be stripped of their privileges. Gilman writes, “you can’t put me back” to give personality to the character she has created. The woman is crazy yet so powerful.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892 at the height of the Victorian era is often mistaken as a feminist short story. She tries to tell its readers how women have been confined in this “domestic role” since the beginning of time. The narrator uses the wallpaper to represent the society she lives in. Not only does the wallpaper affect the narrator, but also it influences everyone that meets it. And how these roles ultimately will drive any woman insane.
Gender in the Yellow Wallpaper By Clinton/Lewinsky 2016 The yellow wallpaper is a compelling book about a woman going crazy and tearing off the yellow wallpaper off the wall. At first glance, this seems like a bad book written by an unstable person who was obsessed with wallpapers. However, this is not the case, and with closer analysis the book is about critiquing gender constructs in society. First of all, gender in that society was based on keeping women down and letting men be superior in modern society. Women weren’t encouraged to be in the workforce and men were generally in positions of power.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, born in 1860 in the United States, was an influential intellectual and feminist who fought intensively against women 's inequality in north- american society. In many of her novels, shorts stories, poems, and nonfiction work, Charlotte Perkins portrayed the oppression suffered by women, and talked about the social changes she thought were necessary to achieve gender equality. Her most famous work the novel “The Yellow Wallpaper”, considered a classic in feminist literature. It is the story of an emotionally fragile woman who is taken by her own husband to therapeutic retreat in which the wall is clothed in a dark and scary yellow wallpaper.
The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist text, telling a story about women’s struggles against a male-centric society. It clarifies that her good meaning, but oppressive husband John who pushes the nameless character to madness in attempt to help her while also showing that the behavior protocols could have devastating effects on women during the time period. While this is condescending behavior to the readers, when the story came out this was accepted and quite normal. The tone, images, and metaphors in the story show a woman triumphing in the only way she can over the repressive patriarchy.