Depletion Of Women In The Yellow Wallpaper By John Gilman

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Gilman also demonstrates man’s desire for social repression through the interaction of her narrator in “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” Throughout the short story, the narrator’s actual name is unknown. Gilman uses another technique in taking away the identity of the woman. As previously stated by other critics, there is a loss of the self-conscious during this time in history, and writers knew this fact: “For all literary artists… the creative ‘I am’ cannot be uttered if the ‘I’ knows not what it is. But for the female artist, the essential process of self-definition is complicated by all those patriarchal definitions that intervene between herself and herself” (Gilbert & Gubar 17). Women have the ultimate loss of self because of the male’s ability…show more content…
The term of “animal” used in Haraway’s Cyborg Theory stands for the mankind: “language, tool use, social behavior, mental events—nothing really convincingly settles the separation of human and animal. And many people no longer feel the need for such a separation” (Haraway 10). However, Gilman takes the oppression of women and applies it to the narrator’s sociological characteristics and setting to highly contrast the depletion of women as human. In short, the narrator becomes an animal; therefore, all ideas of a woman are left behind. The narrator is dehumanized: “according to Darwin, female choice was the norm in all animal species except humans. To these reformers, women’s subordinate status in patriarchal, capitalist societies stood out as “unnatural.” (Hamlin 154) As the men take hold of a woman’s identity, they also take away their humanity in order to dominate them. The beginning signs of this animalistic characterization surface when reading the setting in which the story takes place: “it is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village… for there are hedges and walls and gates that lock” (Gilman 792). Seclusion appears again even through the setting of the story. The narrator is three miles away from society, just as her prescription intended. Walls and gates are Gilman’s way of setting up the suppression that not only…show more content…
In one particular section, her internal self has been morphed into the perception that she is improving psychologically: “Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be. You see I have something more to expect, to look forward to, to watch. I really do eat better, and am more quiet than I was. John is so pleased to see me improve” (Gilman 799). Men are constantly overjoyed to see that a woman has lost her ability to articulate anything that may sound like a cognitive interjection. Though, this quote begins the narrator’s journey into the realization of a self. As the narrator expressed her disgust for the wall-paper, she is also infatuated with it. She talks about the patterns of the paper: curved, flourished, diagonal, slanting waves of optic horror. The narrator also says, “I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusion” (796). This line demonstrates the impending importance of the wall-paper in the fact that it will soon be the product of her autonomous liberation. The shapes within the paper become clearer as the days progress, and she then sees a reflection of herself behind the shapes that “seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out (797). The wall-paper signifies an animal inside of a cage. The animal will shake the cage because its environment is oppressed to that of the confines of bars. The animal within the
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