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Henry Louis. Gates and Nellie Y. McKay. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2004. 694-695.
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While “White Heron” exemplifies how a young girl can reject the patriarchy, “The Yellow Wallpaper” examines how women have been historically, socially and medically oppressed by men, Gilman the narrator becomes a byproduct of the patriarchy which causes the narrators complete submission to a man. Barbara A. Suess, a professor of women’s studies at William Paterson University, analyzes how “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows the gradual psychosis of a woman overruled by the powers of the patriarchy. “She[the narrator] represents women who are failing to see or becoming unduly preoccupied with the grotesque nature of their cultural and/or psychological circumstances, and move towards an increasing distorted understanding of themselves. Thus, she accepts the terms that are used to define her”(86-87). While Suess argues that women become obsessed with the way in which they are repressed culturally or psychologically, “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows how women are systematically stripped of their self identity.