Escaping Male Authority in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

Escaping Male Authority in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 710 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

For a long time, women were oppressed and controlled by men. Particularly in early 19th century, these thoughts and stereotypes bound women stronger than ever. "The Yellow Wallpaper", written by Charlotte Perkins, Gilman shows us how men and women were treated differently during early 19th century by alluding men and women figures into her two characters, the narrator and her husband. “Yellow Wallpaper” is about one man who controls the narrator and forces her to hide herself and makes her isolated from the world by giving her wrong diagnosis and one woman who is absolutely forbidden to do anything and isolated from the world because of her “depression”. In the story, Gilman conveyed her view of men as authorized, controlling figure that doesn’t appreciate women’s feelings or thought and women as powerless figure that were ignored and oppressed by men through the use of characterization of husband, wife (the narrator), and symbolization.
Gilman conveyed her view of men through the use of characterization of husband, John who symbolizes authorized, controlling figure that ignores women’s feelings or thoughts. In the story, John comes out as the narrator’s husband and doctor. These positions confused him and made him think he is in higher position than his wife. John wanted to help his wife with her depression and cure but at the same time he wanted to authorize her by controlling everything of her. He demanded her not to work and ignored her emotions and thoughts. “…and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again.” (Gilman 1) “There comes John, and I must put this away, -- he hates to have me write a word.” (Gilman 2) “…tell him how I wish he would let me go and make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia. But he said I was...


... middle of paper ...


... woman trapped behind the wall symbolizes the narrator, herself. When the narrator pulls down the wallpaper, it also means freedom for herself as well. This also shows how women in early 19th century were “trapped” behind all the stereotypes and ridiculous nonsense and isolated from the world.
Gilman used characterization of husband, wife (the narrator), and symbolization to show the readers how women were treated during early 19th century. Now in 21st century men and women are in equal position and everyone takes this as a natural thing. But in 19th century, these natural things were women’s dream and hope. We should thanks to all people who worked for our rights and be thankful about this freedom.




Works Cited

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. "The Yellow Wallpaper." Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 2011. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Critical Analysis Of Charlotte Perkins Gilm Optimist Reformer Essay

- Review of a Critical Essay About pp.120-122 in Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Optimist Reformer The Yellow Wallpaper is discussed by scholars all the time, and Yvonne Gaudelius is one of them. In her Kitchenless Houses and Homes: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Reform of Architectural Space by Yvonne Gaudelius, she comments on the feminists’ attention to the separation of domestic spaces from public spaces and domestic economy from public economy. She uses The Yellow Wallpaper to further illustrate her ideas from page 120 to 122....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s literary work “The Yellow Wallpaper” expresses a dominating relationship between a husband and a compliant wife and her gradual decent into insanity. The wife, suffering from postpartum depression, is secluded from societal influences in attempts to return her to a healthier state of mind. She is not allowed to write or think in her isolated room and over a course of three months becomes more dysfunctional as she is entrapped in what she describes as a former nursery. Her determination to go against her husband’s and physician’s restrictions ultimately makes her surrender into madness because it symbolizes her escape from oppression and resistance from the treatmen...   [tags: Literary Analysis, Insanity]

Better Essays
2199 words (6.3 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Gilman

- PPPP Inequality is something that 's plagued almost every society throughout time. Whether it be one 's skin color to the paycheck a person makes, its a prominent disbalance that 's thrown off every culture. One group subjected to such torment has been females. Women were disparaged against well into the 20th century and were only seen fit for domestic functions. Charlotte Gilman 's short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” challenges the social normalities of the early eighteenth century. While back in its time period this novel was read as a tale of horror, now being a more cultivated society, audiences can depict this short story for what Gilman truly intended....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses symbolism to explain the purpose of the wallpaper, and why it’s one of the largest symbols in the story. The narrator is part of the wallpapers symbolism and the reason why it deprives such a massive part in the story. The women trapped behind the wallpaper explains the mental block men attempted to place on women “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a symbol of the restriction on women, the struggle for equality, and the possibilities of the female sex during the 1800’s....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gillman

- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, is a feminist short story. It is about a woman who is mentally ill and gets misdiagnosed by her controlling husband. He puts her in a room saying doing nothing will cure her. While in the room she becomes captivated by the yellow wallpaper. She starts to see a trapped woman in the wallpaper. The woman’s obsession over the wallpaper and imprisonment in the room causes her to lose her mind. She has fallen victim to her madness in her desire to let the woman out the wallpaper....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1347 words (3.8 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has a tone of a mentally ill women who worsens while under the thumb of her husband who is her doctor first and husband second. She numerously attempts to reveal her true, current state of mind to her husband but he shows that he thinks he knows best. The internal conflict of being better but not being heard leads to her ultimate breakdown and shock to her husband, John. Everyone has experience this type conflict, whether concealed or disclosed to another, of trying to convey your true feelings but not getting the results you need to progress properly....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
835 words (2.4 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Written in 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that explores the mind of a woman who is driven to insanity by her surrounding environment. This woman, who narrates her experiences in a journal, begins by marveling at the grandeur of the estate her husband has taken for their summer vacation. Her feeling that there is “something queer” (307) about the situation leads her into a discussion of her illness. The narrator describes that she is suffering from “nervous depression” (308) and of her marriage....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1032 words (2.9 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The Yellow Wallpaper is a very unique and odd story. In the first read through of the story, the reader is aware that the narrator is sick and losing her mind. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that the treatment used to heal the narrator isn’t effective. As she begins to completely lose her mind the reader gets a glimpse into her mind. She believes that she is trapped inside of the wallpaper, and by ripping it off the wall she can escape. There are several topics that seem to occur in this story....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Treatment for mental illness by the British medical unit in the 19th century sounds foolish to our modern day society. Today we know little about mental illnesses and how to treat people who suffer from these diseases. Now go back a hundred years and doctors knew nothing and it seems like in some cases they were just making up ridiculous things that they thought were cures. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story of a woman who suffers from postpartum depression, her husband John, happens to be a doctor....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Is unusual, unusual behavior actually normal behavior. This is actually an important question to ask when it comes to postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is an illness like heart disease. Anyone can get this illness, it doesn 't matter how smart, successful or religious you are. An example of people who may get this disease, but not limited to are women who 've given birth. They may experience loss of interest, feeling irritable, feeling restless, hard time falling asleep or staying awake....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)