Dickinson And Gilman 's Treatment Of Gender And Gender Norms Essay

Dickinson And Gilman 's Treatment Of Gender And Gender Norms Essay

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Angus Chu
4/14/15
Paper 2
Compare and contrast Dickinson and Gilman’s treatment of gender and gender norms.
Emily Dickinson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman both lived in a time where women were considered to be “second class citizens”. During this time it was expected of women to be obedient and submissive to their husbands. A woman’s thoughts and opinions were never valued as much as a man’s was. Despite these unfavorable conditions both Emily Dickinson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman fought back and expressed themselves. They served as huge inspirations for other women enduring the same struggles. Although both works depict how each author overcame gender inequality, Dickinson was a rebel who didn’t hesitate to express herself while Gilman was submissive at first but exploded when finally pushed past her breaking point.
Emily Dickinson’s style is very fierce and unreserved. Her unusual style of poetry perfectly conveys her emotions. It was already uncommon for women to write works of literature, but what separated her even more from the herd was her use of punctuation. Her style was so radical that when it was first initially published it had to be modified. Dickinson was a true rebel of her time! Charlotte Perkin Gilman however was quite the opposite, in her writing she seemed to be paranoid, scared and frail. She was submissive to her husband, but still yearning to express herself. She’s very much like a bird locked in a cage wanting to spread its wings. Gilman was frightened of disappointing her husband and unfortunately for her one of the many things he disliked was her writing. Despite this, she still decided to keep writing showing how much she truly wanted to express herself.
In The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrators hu...


... middle of paper ...


... use of capitalization and hyphens was deemed as unnecessary by many, but to her it was completely necessary to express her emphasis. Unfortunately, she was unable to obtain recognition during her lifetime. When her poetry was first published many changes were made so that it would meet the current standards. Little did anyone know that the true strength of her poetry lied within her unique style. Only when her work was published in it’s original form did Dickinson start to receive recognition as a pioneer. Dickinson writes” Assent – and you are sane- Demur – your straightway dangerous – And handled with a Chain –" (Lines 5-7) If one was to conform to standards then they would be considered normal. However, if one strayed away from norms they would be deemed outcasts. “Much Madness is divinest Sense” (line 1) meant that madness was true free thinking and expression.

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