Female Oppression in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

813 Words4 Pages
Will women ever be equal to men? For centuries male oppression of woman has existed, presenting an interesting look at women struggle with physical and mental imprisonment. The environment and the people who are apart of ones life have an overpowering effect on the quality of other. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story, the protagonist is said to be struggling with nervous depression, and is married to a doctor who has suggested rest therapy in a summer vacation home. However, the narrator’s condition heighten and in response starts to see images of faces in the wallpaper of her room. The boredom and seclusion of this medicine only allowed her mind to endeavor farther down a path of insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the wallpaper and the relationship of the couple to expose the narrator’s confinement forced by the husband to lead her to insanity.
The story starts off with the narrator’s depiction of the physically enclosing aspects around her that has a great affect on her health throughout the story. The couple moves to a house, which symbolizes security. The house is believed to be a place where she can improve from her depression. However, in this story, the house does not feel like it is hers and she does not want to be in it. The narrator says it is “haunted”, (75) and that “there is something queer about it” (75). The house also eases her release, obliging her, her writing and her thoughts. When the narrator first walks into the room she says, "It was a nursery first, and then the playroom and gymnasium, I should judge, for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls" (76), this shows the reader how the main character thought of her room in the sens...

... middle of paper ...

...t they are really worth. The narrator of the story is symbolic for all women in the late 1800s, which were prisoners of society. Trapped in a world run by men, where they are rejected of many opportunities.
The narrator’s breakdown had many contributing factors, but one mainly being the flawed human nature and environment. Her husband is indisposed to the fact that women are more than capable to control their own life and that the setting of ones comfort is fully vital to their health too. This seclusion and isolation method of this medicine only allows her mind to venture down the route to insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the wallpaper and the relationship of the couple to expose the narrator’s confinement forced by the husband to lead her to insanity. Exemplifying the nineteenth-century oppression of woman and their well-being.

More about Female Oppression in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

Open Document