Chained to Society

Satisfactory Essays
It is easy for one to feel trapped in a seemingly familiar setting. The story, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, entails the struggle of a woman who feels confined in her own home and who becomes unable to organize her thoughts. She is assured by her husband that she is normal, yet she cannot come to terms with the feelings she harbors. She is forced to accept the societal standards that place women in lower status, because she is incapable of challenging the recognized power structures. She has no outlet to express concern or desire which ultimately makes her seem substandard. The story takes the reader through her journey during the seventeenth century where the societal norms were extremely different, especially in regards to gender equality and women’s rights. The difference in beliefs is evident throughout many aspects of the story and the narrator struggles to overcome these inherent barriers. The obstacles are both mental and emotional and strike the main characters internal struggles. There is a clear subjugation of women that occurs in the marriage, the environment, and in a woman’s ability to express themselves.
Historically, women have been seen as the weaker person in the bond of marriage. Throughout the story, the narrator is degraded in various ways due to the ramifications of engaging in this institutional practice. First, she mentions many instances where John has been erroneous, insensitive, or abusive, but is unable to vocalize any disconnect for fear of repercussions. “He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures” (271). The narrator feels as if John is a hindrance to her being beca...

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... men in the story are portrayed, exhibits the degradation of the value of the self-expression of a woman.

The issue of women’s rights has been disputed and discussed for a large portion of history, continuing in today’s society. The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” exhibits the degrading of women in society through various factors. Women are seen to be undermined in marriage, the environment they live in, and in their ability to express themselves. Becoming familiar with a comfortable surrounding often leads to a sense of security, but sometimes this security can be faulty. It is usually when one feels at ease, that our guard is down, and negative influences are able to attack our conscious without even being aware. This is an extremely dangerous situation, because if one cannot identify the loss of identity, there will be no guarantee for its future existence.
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