Analysis Of Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

Analysis Of Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

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When comparing the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Betty Friedan, and Bell Hooks, I assert that both Gilman and Friedan stress that college educated, white upper- and middle-class women should have the incentive to fight against and alter the rigid boundaries of marriage; however, Hooks in her piece From Margin to Center argues that Friedan and other feminist writers during the second wave had written or spoke shortsightedly, failing to regard women of other races and classes who face the most sexist oppression.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman tells the story of married white upper-class women who is striving to overcome her nervous depression with the aide of her domineering husband, John. To display her discomfort, Gilman relays, “If a physician of high standing, and one 's own husband, assures… there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do? (Gillman, CP 160-161). The narrator’s husband did not consider his wife’s depression to be serious, considering he would constantly console her by advising her to not worry. After some time, the narrator becomes passive and ceases to question her husband’s choices regarding her health. Even though this piece was written before the second wave, it still connects to issues raised by women during the second wave. In other words, most women in the 1960’s, developed a complasiant and ignorant attitude while never being able to fully find their true identities. After all, they could not change the lifestyle they were taught to adhere to.
Thinking their husbands would find it foolish, many women were afraid to voice their opinions. For instance, the narrator in Gilman’s story kept a secret diary where she would h...


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...d Friedman’s work, however is her piece From Margin to Center , she calls The Feminine Mystique “racist and classist” (Fetters, 2013). Friedan fails to acknowledge other classes and races such as low-class African American individuals. It was almost like these individuals did not exist to her. In addition, Hook’s highlighted the fact that African-American had to face the "double bars" for being both a women and an African American. For such an influential piece of writing, it is unfortunate that The Feminine Mystique neglects to recognize other individuals besides upper- middle- class white women.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Betty Friedan, and Bell Hooks all made strides to better the rights of women while showcasing the inequalities between women and men; however, even today more improvement needs to be seen to order to establish the ultimate goal of feminism.

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