Gender played a very large role in the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It symbolizes the way women were viewed in the 1800’s by society and most importantly, men. The narrator in the story believes that she is sick with a nervous condition. Her husband being a physician, down plays it and forces a treatment of completely isolating her in a room from the outside world, as well as restricting her from being active and writing. As the narrator writes in her hidden journal, we start to discover how peculiar she really is when she becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper. We know that the things she sees on the walls aren’t at all there, but it shows readers the journey her mind takes into lunacy. The limitation and control over the narrator’s decisions shows the dominance of men to women and how her isolation by her husband, led her to lose her sanity.
The narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper never truly shares her name, although her thoughts and experiences within the story are made clear. The journal that she kept could only be in 1st person point of view and this helps readers to understand how she felt towards what was happening in her life. She mentions details that let us know the way the husband perceived the events, although if the personal thoughts of her husband were also expressed, it would be easier to determine whether she is a reliable source. Her mental state gradually changes throughout the story and it’s hard to keep up with confusing view on the wallpaper, John and Jennie, and the setting. When the narrator starts to really hallucinate, everything turns into more of a creepy story. The turning point in the story was when she ruins the wallpaper; that she ...
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...g trapped women trying to escape.
During the time period that the short story The Yellow Wallpaper was released, readers found it to be a gothic or horror story. Society eventually began to see that Charlotte Perkins Gilman used the story to express her feelings towards men, society, and the Rest Cures treatment. It’s no surprise that women in the 1800’s were not treated equally. She uses a narrator and her journal to create a story to show women that they have to open their eyes and realize how they’re being treated. The narrator’s husband takes the blame for the condition and state of mind that his wife was in. Readers find him to be a very manipulative and controlling over his wife because of his high and prestigious work title. Ultimately, Gilman was trying to prove a point to women in her society, and in time we find The Yellow Wallpaper to be a feminist story.
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