Summary Of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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In her short story “Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman implies the oppression of women in 19th century and their anger by using some symbolic meanings associated with its settings.
When Gilman published this story, America was a male-dominated society dating back to the Victorian times which suppressed women’s rights. The domestic ideology prevailed at that time claimed that women are not only subordinated to men but also are different from men. Also, the gender ideology of the day emphasized different characteristic, aptitude, and role of men and women building up discriminative images of gender. According to that ideology, men are active and creative while women are passive, fragile and dependent. For that reason, women are regarded as submissive and only considered as domestic ones.
This point of view on women which defines women as ones who are bounded by domestic life also influenced the medical treatment and Gilman uses this to show social oppression towards women. As the society regarded women as the social ornament of men, idle, delicate images became the virtue of women. As a result, many women felt tedious and restrained.
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Her first impression of wallpaper was not favorable. Rather, she felt the sense of unknown, disorder, and outrageousness by observing the patterns on the wallpaper. Gilman used this wallpaper to represent the situation of narrator being suppressed by social pressure. At first, narrator didn’t have the slightest idea of what the pattern indicates. However, as the story proceeds, she seems to be absorbed in observing the wallpaper. She found the spot where ‘the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.’, and recognizes ‘a kind of sub-pattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one’. Finally, she finds a figure of woman on the wallpaper whom she thinks wants to get out of
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