Additional themes include how marriage kept women in a childlike passive state, the importance of self-expression and communication, the mental oppression against women, and the relationship of reading the wallpaper as text. There was a strict distinction between the female’s function in the home and the dynamic works of the male, ensuring women remain second-class citizens as domestic homemakers. “During this time, men typify rationalism and realism, while women had imagination, creating conflict and tension of opposing forces” (Wiedemann). John believes he has the superior knowledge, misjudges and dominates his wife, which is abusive, all in the name of “helping” her. As a result, the narrator forcibly becomes completely passive and hides her fears in order to preserve the pretense of a happy marriage.
Her opinions and physical activity is constantly oppressed and dismissed by the husband. The story portrays John’s dominance over his wife. As well, her deteriorating sanity is evidence that the male discourse is not superior and, therefore, enforces feminist pedagogy. In addition, the environment in which the wife is oppressed represents the dominance forced upon her by her husband. The feminist literary lens addresses the imprisonment of women, and the imbalance of power between the two genders.
Hidden away in her husband’s interpretation of care, the unnamed protagonist of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is the embodiment of the struggles faced by women in 19th century America who are seeking freedom of thought from their male counterparts. Presented as, and widely seen and accepted as, a psychological horror or thriller story, it is apparent from a feminist point of view that it is a depiction of the state of women in the 19th century, and perhaps even of the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who herself struggled living in a society run by males. This theme is made clear through the strength of John (the protagonist’s husband) as a character, the thoughts and writing of the unnamed narrator within her secret journal,
The novel depicts this construct of gender identity through society by molding Grace to believe women are subordinate and need to get married and be good housewives to be successful. This construct is seen through emotion as women who are emotional are seen as “abnormal” and sent to asylums, while men had to power to do so. The societal construct of gender identity was seen as men were to bask in their sexuality and be assertive, while women were to be passive and suppress their sexuality. Mrs. Humphrey challenged this construct as she was assertive and the instigator. Lastly, the societal construct of gender identity was challenged through Grace’s mother as she took over the males position of being the provider.
It plants the idea in our minds that men are superior to women, and that men are the ones who can "fix" females in the attempt to bring them up to the level of me... ... middle of paper ... ...hadow of death falling over the female characters in each of these stories. This would fit into what Fetterly describes as "the great American dream of eliminating women." It seems that the role of the men in these pieces were chiefly to try and control their wives/love interests/daughters in the attempt to get an upper hand in the battle of the sexes. There are not any productive male-female relationships seen here, and feminists would conclude that this stems from the need to dominate women, probably because men are afraid of the power of women. We can't know what's going on in the minds of these men, but it certainly is interesting to look at the relationships they have with the main female characters.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates a feminist view on the physical and mental hardships faced by women. Feminism is the advocacy for women's rights on the basis of equality for all sexes. A feminist text reveals the author’s agenda for women in society as they relate to injustice by a patriarchal society and the idea of social norms. A feminist text will be written in order to point out deficits in society regarding equal opportunity. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about the unnamed narrator who faces the female struggles in a male dominant society where the woman has to obey the social norms.
Ibsen points out flaws within society by writing this satirical and feminist play. A Doll House is largely about gender inequality, and written in order to open the eyes of the public to stop the imbalance in society. He uses Torvald, and, at one instance, Nora's father to represent the constraints, stresses, and belittlement men put on women. He parallels the trapped feeling most women had in society to Nora, who felt like a cornered dog and felt deceit was her only way out. Women should not have to "wear a mask," they should be free to express their true feelings and hopes without a man's undervaluing opinion.
In “ The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator and her husband John can be seen as strong representations of society and it’s negative influences on women within a marriage. Society plays a key role in the characterization of the narrator and her husband John being that they both take on the gender roles that society has established for them: the dominant male and the submissive female. The story is intended to revolve around the late 19th century society; however, it still occurs in our country today. Women still take on the gender roles that society has established for them; therefore, most fail to receive the human rights that should be guaranteed to them at this point and time in such a world that constantly searches for change. Being a woman is still portrayed in the unjust ways that the narrator’s husband sees his wife within their marriage: powerless and without importance.
In Charlotte Gillman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator describes several attitudes in which men thought about women and the overall oppression of women in the early 20th century. The perception of men and women encouraged society to place limitations on women and allow men to dominate. Women were seen as caretakers, homebodies and fragile, unable to care for one’s self. This is symbolic to the “Cult of Domesticity”, a term identifying a nineteenth-century ideology that women's nature suited them especially for tasks associated with the home. It identified four characteristics that were supposedly central to women's identity: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness.” One the other hand, men would rule society through their work, politics, and government.
Crystie R. Kampman Professor Battle English Composition 112 20 July 2016 The Oppressed Women of Trifles and The Doll House The dramas Trifles by Susan Glaspell and The Doll House by Henrik Ibsen were written in the late 19th to early 20th Century; a genre representative of socially constructed norms associated to gender roles. During this era economic, political, cultural and social rights encompass male dominance. Female oppression was commonplace; society based a woman’s worth on motherhood and marriage. In the Trifles the men patronize the women, ridiculing their concerns while the women characterize their activity in the house as relatively unimportant. The Doll House focuses on Nora who struggles to become a self-motivated women in a woman-denying man’s world, exemplified by the treatment she experiences from her father, society and husband.