Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

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In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a woman who suffers severe depression identifies the suppressive influences of society upon women in the exemplification of a woman being strangled by the domestic patterns of society behind yellow wallpaper. Readers witness the woman undergo various changes from being a compliant woman who obeys her husband, to a woman who breaks free from the chains of societal norms, which include being the submissive sex in matrimony. At first the woman seems to be living in a fantasy as she characterizes her husband and caretaker as kind and concerned with her well being, when in reality they are suppressive and limiting. To begin with, the woman of the story explains how, “[her husband was] very careful and loving, and hardly lets [her] stir without special direction” (Gilman 239). This quote shows the woman’s inconsistency with reality as she does not recognize that her husband had brought her to an asylum in order to “cure” her illness. Her husband explicitly explains to the woman that the place he is taking her only has “one window and not room for two beds” further displaying how he will isolate her from society and the family. Her unwillingness to realize her husbands intentions, displays her blindness to her own repression in her marriage. In addition, the woman explains how much she enjoys writing in order to explain her own thoughts and feelings because she is not allowed to say them out loud. She goes on to say that her husband,” hates to have [her] write a word” and hurriedly tries to hide away her notebook (Gilman ___). This Guevara 2 quote displays the woman’s incoherence to her own submissive condition in her marriage, since she is not allowed to write... ... middle of paper ... ...e end of this short story, the narrator has freed herself from the constraints of her marriage, society, and even freed her own mind. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator of the story undergoes a variable amount of changes in order to free herself from the chains of society. Her journey ranges from being honest and compliant to the patterns of domestic, marital status to becoming a woman who frees herself from the suppressive expectations of a woman in society. Her insanity displays a paradox, as she becomes saner by the end of her transformation, causing her to free herself from her repressed mind, and marital expectations. Works Cited Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. "The Yellow Wallpaper." Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2006. 237-51. Print.
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