Theme Of Oppression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Wallpaper”
Oppression is the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control. Most minorities and women throughout history suffered oppression from several different outlets. Authors began to use the stories they wrote to reveal what was happening. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman both demonstrate the theme of oppression brought on by society and sometimes family through their characters Dee, Maggie, and Jane.
At the beginning of “Everyday Use” when Alice Walker introduces Dee, it is inferred that she is oppressed by society. Walker’s description of Dee was the typical African American trying to find her place in America back then and still now. She brought her surroundings to life
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Jane’s husband, John, is the typical man of the 19th century. He doesn’t treat her much like his wife, but instead like a joke and property. Quotes from the story such as, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage” and “What is it little girl?” are a only few examples. For one to expect their husband to laugh at serious feelings is not the ideal marriage today. With the way John treats her, it is easy to see that he plays a part in her depression. His intentions are not to harm his wife, but only pushes her closer to losing her sanity. He oppresses her by belittling her feelings and her sickness. He only tells her she is going to be ok and she is not truly sick. John disregards Jane’s feelings and keeps her trapped in a house with no activity. Gilman portrays herself through Jane. She shows how men perceive women. Women do not have a voice and adding a mental illness does not help the case. The “rest cure” is issued to patients with mental health problems and is complete isolation in the 19th century. Society did not treat depression as an actual illness, and at times, still have a tough time taking it serious now. (Gilman pg1, pg9)
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