One Voice Elaine Hedges reads the story as “One of the rare pieces of literature we have by a nineteenth-century woman which directly confronts the sexual politics of the male-female, husband-wife relationship” (114). In Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” she portrays a woman in the nineteenth century struggling to cure her “temporary nervous depression” due to the immobility her husband puts on her. During this time period, many males thought of women as weak and helpless, which exemplifies why the husband dominates his wife’s thoughts and actions, and as a result, empowers himself. Because this story exists as the narrator’s diary, the reader can assimilate the secrecy the narrator had behind her husband and the severity of her loss of control. Using the feminist perspective, Gilman illustrates the embodiment of the struggles faced by women in seeking freedom of thought and action.
Through a woman's perspective of assumed insanity, Charlotte Perkins Gilman comments on the role of the female in the late nineteenth century society in relation to her male counterpart in her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." Gilman uses her own experience with mental instability to show the lack of power that women wielded in shaping the course of their psychological treatment. Further she uses vivid and horrific imagery to draw on the imagination of the reader to conceive the terrors within the mind of the psychologically wounded. The un-named woman is to spend a summer away from home with her husband in what seems to be almost a dilapidated room of a "colonial mansion" (Gilman 832). In order to cure her "temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency" (Gilman 833) she is advised to do no work and to never to even think of her condition.
Gilman's literary indictment of Dr. Mitchell's ineffective treatment came to life in the story "The Yellow Wallpaper." On the surface, this gothic tale seems only to relate one woman's struggle with mental illness, but because Guilman was a prominent feminist and social thinker she incorporated themes of women's rights and the poor relationships between husbands and wives (Kennedy and Gioia 424). Guilman cleverly manipulates the setting to support her themes and set the eerie mood. Upon first reading "The Yellow Wallpaper," the reader may see the relationship between the narrator and her husband John as caring, but with examination one will find that the narrator is repeatedly belittled and demeaned by her husband. On first arriving at the vacation home John chooses the old attic nursery against his wife's wishes and laughs at her when she complains about the wallpaper (Kennedy et al.
Obsession Overcomes Oppression In the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, the reader is taken into the mind of a mentally disturbed woman named Jane who has been imprisoned by trying to fit the stereotypical wife mold of the nineteenth century. The reader is able to take opinions from Jane which reflect the stereotypes of frailty and the nurturing roles given to women. These opinions close all of the doors for the emotions taking place except those of Jane. By showing the story from her perspective, a bias of men is formed. Through Jane's perceptions of her surroundings, the reader is able to understand how men assign the roles of women and essentially, drive them to madness.
In literature, women are often depicted as weak, compliant, and inferior to men. The nineteenth century was a time period where women were repressed and controlled by their husband and other male figures. Charlotte Gilman, wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper," showing her disagreement with the limitations that society placed on women during the nineteenth century. According to Edsitement, the story is based on an event in Gilman’s life. Gilman suffered from depression, and she went to see a physician name, Silas Weir Mitchell.
The Yellow Wallpaper, Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is comprised as an assortment of journal entries written in first person, by a woman who has been confined to a room by her physician husband who he believes suffers a temporary nervous depression, when she is actually suffering from postpartum depression. He prescribes her a “rest cure”. The woman remains anonymous throughout the story. She becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper that surrounds her in the room, and engages in some outrageous imaginations towards the wallpaper. Gilman’s story depicts women’s struggle of independence and individuality at the rise of feminism, as well as a reflection of her own life and experiences.
Web. 28 Oct. 2015 Lanser, Susan S. “Feminist Criticism, "The Yellow Wallpaper," and the Politics of Color in America”. Feminist Studies 15.3 (1989): 415–441. Web. 26 Oct.
A story of feminism told through the eyes of a depressed manic, is shown within the text of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Gilman was inspired to write the story upon her diagnosis of depression, which sent her into a manic state, and by the request of her doctor was put on bed rest (A&E, 2011). However, this only motivated Gilman to pursue her writing as an attempt to recover and in turn “The Yellow Wallpaper” was created. During the 19th century, the time of which the story was written, women were expected to play the role of a wife and mother and society did not tolerate anything otherwise (American Literature, 1998). “The Yellow Wallpaper” demonstrates the struggle for power, search for persona, and the escape from reality of a female manic.
The Yellow Paper is a symbolic story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is a disheartening tale of a woman struggling to free herself from postpartum depression. This story gives an account of an emotionally and intellectual deteriorated woman who is a wife and a mother who is struggling to break free from her metal prison and find peace. The post-partum depression forced her to look for a neurologist doctor who gives a rest cure. She was supposed to have a strict bed rest.
It represents the psychological block that society attempts to place on women during the 1800’s. The color distinct color yellow is connected with sickness and weakness which displays the gender differences of how society sees women as weak and men inferior. The wallpaper in fact makes the main character feel “sick” as the short story develops. As a matter of fact, the wallpaper draws a line between insanity and sanity that the narrator faces. Quawas offers honest insight and advice on “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and its symbolic significance that is portrayed throughout the short story.