What Is Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a first-person written feminist short story that critiques and condemns the nineteenth-century American male attitude towards women and their physical as well as mental health issues. In the short story, Perkins Gilman juxtaposes universal gender perspectives of women with hysterical tendencies using the effects of gradually accumulating levels of solitary confinement; a haunted house, nursery, and the yellow wallpaper to highlight the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and promote the equality of sexes. The narrator and her husband, John, embody the general man and woman of the nineteenth century. John, like the narrator’s brother and most men, is “a physician of high …show more content…

Enclosed to the four wall of this “big” room, the narrator says “the paint and paper look as if a boy’s school had used it” because “it is stripped off” indicating that males have attempted to distort women’s truth but somehow did not accomplish distorting the entire truth (Perkins Gilman, 43). When the narrator finally looked at the wall and the paint and paper on it, she was disgusted at the sight. The yellow wallpaper, she penned, secretly against the will of men, committed artistic sin and had lame uncertain curves that suddenly committed suicide when you followed them for a little distance. The narrator is forced to express her discomfort with the image to her husband, he sees it as an “excited fancy” that is provoked by the “imaginative power and habit of story making” by “a nervous weakness” like hers (Perkins Gilman, 46). Essentially, he believes that her sickness is worsening and the depth of her disease is the cause of the unexpected paranoia. Nonetheless, the narrator continues to pen her ideas about the wallpaper as it transpired from being perplexing to gaining clarity each day. Amidst arriving at a full conclusion of what the wallpaper depicts, the narrator says she sees “a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern” (Perkins Gilman, 50). As the days passed, …show more content…

Despite their endeavors to escape their bondage, the women behind the bars could not escape because the men found alternative tactics to keep them in confinement. The bars strangle and cut off the heads of the women that climb out of the pattern, “it turns them upside down and makes their eyes white!” resonating to an envision of a crazy woman. The narrator herself is a great example of how effective men were at establishing alternative tactics like this. The narrator was classified as having hysterical tendencies, like most women of the nineteenth century, were when they complained of pain, anxiety, fatigue, or depression, as a source of suppressing their agency through prescribed isolation and prohibited writing. Nevertheless, on a night that John was not home, the narrator and the woman in the wall struggled all night and morning to get her out but were unsuccessful. After hours of trying, the narrator became desperate, desperate enough to “come out of that wall-paper” herself and confront man while urging other women to do the same (Perkins Gilman, 58). The story ends with John fainting right across the narrator’s path of the wall after she says “I’ve got out at last...you can’t put me back” demonstrating that she has challenged the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and conquered promoting the equality of sexes

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