It does weigh on me so not to do my duty in any way I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 2). In this insight into the narrator’s mind one can see how she bases her self worth in what her husband thinks of her and since she believes that all she is to him is a burden, then she has no validation of her self worth through anyone but him. Restate Thesis- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the use of the Narrator’s conflict throughout the story causes her to have a mental breakdown brought upon by the narrator’s conflict with the environment she is in, the conflict with her husband, and the conflict within herself. The narrator’s conflict with her environment, her husband, and within herself brings upon her mental breakdown. If people would look past their own desires and opinions of others then people might be able to truly help others, instead of harming them by confining them to the box people put them
Likewise, In the yellow wallpaper, the narrator talks about her authoritative husband. Gilman starts the story by introducing the two main characters of the story John and Jane, the narrator. The narrator is mentally unstable. He forces her to visit the doctor, who wants to say no but couldn’t resist. He doesn’t believe she is sick and he talks about the treatment she says “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus (Gilman).” She disagrees with the treatment yet she doesn’t have any choice other than listening to her husband and her opinions doesn’t really matter.
Right from the beginning of the story, it becomes clear that the protagonist has no voice. Her husband is very controlling and oppressive since she has to ask him for permission to do anything. He prohibits her of writing and seeing people she loves, assuming he is the only one who knows what's best for her. The fact that he's a physician emphasizes that he is a man in power and that it would be impossible for the narrator to object to the treatment he prescribed her. Moreover, she doesn't try to disobey him, but rather she hides her true feelings inside and suppresses her emotions around him, so he wouldn't send her away for more serious treatment.
Her environment feels to her very much like a prison with her husband merely pushing aside her feelings of distaste, believing that giving in and listening to her desires will only worsen her condition. When the narrator wishes for the walls to be fixed, her husband refuses, stating “nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies. After the wall-paper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on” (Gilman 3). The narrator feels entrapped by the house’s bars and gates, but her husband in no way gives her feelings consideration and he refuses to change her environment, therefore keeping her imprisoned within the house, the gilded cage, and her mind. Although the house illustrates feminist views a great deal, the greatest setting to emphasize those views is the wallpaper in the bedroom; “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!” (Gilman 7).
Of course I don’t when John is here, or anybody else,” only “when I am alone” (Gilman 44). She tells us that “John doesn’t know how much I really suffer” (Gilman 41). Even when the narrator tries to communicate with him, he immediately dismisses her: “I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk with him,” but “John wouldn’t hear of it” (Gilman 40). Instead of speaking her mind and standing up for herself, she withdraws and does “not say another word”(Gilman 47). Convincing herself that John is always “right,” she obeys whatever “John says,” which only causes her condition to “worsen” despite the fact ... ... middle of paper ... ...y Torvald: “He used to call me his doll-child, and he played with me the way I played with my dolls…I went from Papa’s hands into yours.
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 ___).
John’s treatment of his wife consists of medical prescriptions, “I take phosphates or phosphites-whichever it is-and tonics,... ... middle of paper ... ...ssion and intrusiveness. John’s lack of having an open mind to his wife’s thoughts and opinions and his constant childish like treatment of his wife somehow emphasizes this point, although, this may not have been his intention. The narrator felt strongly that her thoughts and feelings were being disregarded and ignored as stated by the narrator “John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him” (Gilman 115), and she shows her despise of her husband giving extra care to what he considers more important cases over his wife’s case with a sarcastic notion “I am glad my case is not serious!” (Gilman 115). It is very doubtful that John is the villain of the story, his good intentions towards doing everything practical and possible to help his wife gain her strength and wellbeing is clear throughout the story.
While these attitudes, and the actions taken by the two doctors, seem to have certainly contributed to her breakdown, it seems that there is an underlying rebellious spirit in her. The narrator, speaking out against her husband states, “He says no one but myself can help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let any silly fancies run away with me.” This demonstrates how John is not treating his wife for anything. He simply doesn’t believe there is a problem. This is one of her major motivations for keeping a journal; she thinks it helps her because she is afraid to speak out against her husband. Every time she thinks about writing in the journal, she relates how tired it makes her.
The two short stories also expose how the oppression put on them by their husband leaves the women unfulfilled and unhappy with their lives. The desire of the husband to control the relationship is expressed in their disallowing of their wives to think or act for themselves. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator’s husband John, does not allow his wife to think on her own, rather he tells her what is the right and wrong. “John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition” (Gilman 11). John advises his wife to not think about her own medical condition at all because it would be detrimental for her mind.
Husband and wife show a harsh attitude towards each other without thinking about huge differences that men and women have. Another example of a lack of communication from the poem Gray explains, "No matter how many times she tells him that he's not listening, he doesn't get it and keeps doing the same thing. She wants empathy, but he thinks she wants solutions" (Gray 15). This theory relates to the poem "Home Burial," because the wife wants her husband to show empathy about the child's death. The husband, however, does not seem to have the empathy she ... ... middle of paper ... ... a woman and acted upon Gray's theory, their relationships and marriage would not fall apart.