Haney-Peritz, Janice. "Monumental Feminism and Literature's Ancestral House: Another Look at 'The Yellow Wallpaper'" Women's Studies. 12 (1986): 113-128. Kasmer, Lisa. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper': A Symptomatic Reading."
She suffered from a severe postpartum depression case, yet her marriage depressed her too. The narrator was in a marriage whereby her husband dominated and treated her like a child. Her husband was the sole decision maker and since she lived in a society whereby women were never allowed to question their husband’s decisio... ... middle of paper ... ...he stopped being the protector and the only rational thinker in the family. In this short story, the men had power over women and they undermined them. The narrator insisted to her husband that she was sick, but he never took her serious instead, he confined her in an isolated place away from home and her child.
However, this ‘mental disorder’ is only a way that the narrator actively rebels against society and how patriarchy has restricted her into becoming a heap of insecure thoughts. In the introduction of the story the unnamed narrator describes her ‘illness’ and the ‘conditions’ she faces, however through the analysis of her writing she begins to reveal the oppression that she is forced to submit to. Much of the protagonist’s oppression comes from her husband, as he does not believe she is sick at all. Because she is timid and is subdued by her spouse she believes, like the rest of society, that a male’s qualifications can automatically make him right. The narrator tends to question her husband’s view, but then covers it up with his credentials in her private journal entries, “You see he does not believe I am sick!
Women were regard as a second class of people. They had neither legal right nor respect from their male counterparts. When the narrator's husband, John, a physician, placed the narrator in the horrid room with yellow wallpaper, and bed-rested, he claimed that he knew what is best for his wife. The narrator had no choice but to obey her husband since her brother, who was a male physician, was convinced by her husband's theory. "So I take phosphates of phosphites-whichever it is-and tonics, and air and exercise, and journeys, and am absolutely forbidden to "work" until I am well again" (pg277).
Society is composed of the powerful and the weak, an asset to a gender dominated society one lives in. John and the narrator’s brother are both high standing physicians in their current residency that requires them to make a lot of informed decisions, regarding medicine. In this story line, the occupation of John and her brother causes them to misuse their medical authority on John’s wife. This woman has post partum depression and tells her husband she does not feel good. John abuses his powers by not trusting her and diagnosis her with “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency.” She does not question her husband’s decision making since her opinion seems weaker than his.
His presence throughout the tale provides for the narrator's motive. John refuses to accept her wife's condition; he does not believe that there is anything truly wrong with her. If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression, a slight hysterical tendency - what is one to do? (246) The narrator is possessed by her hus... ... middle of paper ... ...ion. Sven Birkerts.
Men have grown up in a society in which changing what they do not approve of, even women, is okay. Gilman’s main character is intimidated by a figure of her imagination. A figure of being the wife she is supposed to be, whom acts the way she is supposed to act because “[S]he is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession” (Gilman The Yellow Wallpaper 3). As John does not approve of the way his wife acts, he takes it upon himself to diagnose his wife, the main character. He tells her that she is not healthy and for her to be ready to be a mother and an acceptable wife, as well to get better, she needs to live in in their house coincidently three miles from the village.
New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 478-89. Print Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper." The Art of the Short Story.Ed.
When we recognize "The Yellow Wallpaper" as both a feminist treatise and a Gothic text, we can begin drawing conclusions that might not be obvious had we overlooked this dual nature of the story. Gilman's narrator - who appears to be suffering from postpartum depression - has been diagnosed by several male physicians, including her husband, and... ... middle of paper ... ... Gothic and feminist. It is both classically Gothic and an expression of the position Gilman would like to see women achieve in society. This duality is quite powerful. The Gothic trope of concealed objects is what enabled Gilman to best express her feminist views on the status of women in her suffocating society.
New York: Feminist Press, 1992. ------. "The Writing of 'The Yellow Wallpaper': A Double Palimpsest." Studies in American Fiction. 17 (1989): 193-201.