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Comparing Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman and The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck

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Comparing Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman and The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck


Talents and dreams, hopes and desires, shunned by the husbands and times of the women in The Chrysanthemums and The Yellow Wallpaper. The wife, Elisa, in the Chrysanthemums, reflects an internal struggle to find her place in a world of definite gender roles. The Yellow Wallpaper traces the treatment of a woman who descends from depression to madness in the male-imposed psychiatric confinement of her room. The mirror-like situations that hinder the protagonists in both stories call the women to conduct themselves in demeanors drastically different from one another.

Elisa Allen of the Chrysanthemums and the narrator of the Yellow Wallpaper both have husbands who fancy the idea of knowing what their wives want and need. On the way to dinner, Elisa asks her husband about the fights and his immediate reply is, ?We can go if you want, but I dont think you would like them much.? He cannot fathom the idea that she may actually enjoy this non-feminie event. The narrators husband also assumes that he kno...


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...Their husbands, the fence, and the wallpaper, are all constraints that must be depleted. Their strive for happiness and zest for a life far more exciting than the present is what gives the narrator and Ellisa Allen an AWAKENING to which they must react.

Works Cited:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York: Feminist Press, 1973.

Steinbeck, John. ?The Chrysanthemums.? Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. 2nd Compact ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003. 359-366.




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