Comparison of Daisy Miller and The Yellow Wallpaper

1214 Words3 Pages

Society continually places restrictive standards on the female gender not only fifty years ago, but in today’s society as well. While many women have overcome many unfair prejudices and oppressions in the last fifty or so years, late nineteenth and early twentieth century women were forced to deal with a less understanding culture. In its various formulations, patriarchy posits men's traits and/or intentions as the cause of women's oppression. This way of thinking diverts attention from theorizing the social relations that place women in a disadvantageous position in every sphere of life and channels it towards men as the cause of women's oppression (Gimenez). Different people had many ways of voicing their opinions concerning gender inequalities amound women, including expressing their voices and opinions through their literature. By writing stories such as Daisy Miller and The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Henry James let readers understand and develop their own ideas on such a serious topic that took a major toll in American History. In this essay, I am going to compare Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” to James’ “Daisy Miller” as portraits of American women in peril and also the men that had a great influence. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The yellow Wallpaper”, the main character is used as a symbol to express the feeling of all the oppressed women in her time. Most of the women had no voice and were enslaved by “masculinist” ideas and a cult of domesticity (Gilman 685), which would explain why the main characters name was never mentioned in the story alluding to the fact that the women of her era simply lacked their own personal identity. Her husband and brother, who were both Physicians, treated ... ... middle of paper ... ...en at Daisy’s age did. She was a very rebellious young woman who thought she could take on the world. She broke free from cultural norms and lived her life as she pleased. Although Gilman’s character was stuck in a world of illusions, it is easy to say that Daisy was also stuck in this fantasy world by ignoring repressive attitudes from everyone around her. Today women are still fighting for total equality but I’d say since then we have come a long way in improvements. Works Cited Perkins, Geroge, and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. 12th ed. Vol. 2. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print Gimenez, Martha E. "Capitalism and the Oppression of Women: Marx Revisited." Science & Society 69.1 (2005): 11-32. ProQuest Central. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .

Open Document