Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper By Kate Chopin And Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1137 Words5 Pages
Historically, the term feminism and its revolutionary nature are attributed to a majority of the twentieth century.1 While the epicenter of feminism for women, indeed, had its place during that time, certain female writers from the nineteenth century shed the roots of the movements through the pages of their fiction tales. By opposing to the expectations of womanhood and implicitly rebelling against the phallocentrism of literature in the portrayal of females, Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman utilize symbolism to criticize the injustices of their time. Furthermore, through the analysis of the formalistic scope, Chopin’s narratives “The Story of an Hour” and “The Storm,” along with Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” exemplify the epitome…show more content…
Mallard: Spring represents her new self and renewal while the rain has baptized her and made her Louise. Notably, Louise Mallard converts into the strongest allegory for women of the late nineteenth century, when she is sitting in her room and fantasizes about her new life. According to Chopin, as she is internalizing this new ideal of what her –also, women of the world– can become, she explains that “it was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought” (Chopin 214). The “suspension of intelligent thought” refers to the freedom that women could benefit from if the misogynistic ideals were not as deeply rooted in social standards and expectations. Louise, and all women, would be free without Bentley, her suppressor –men. Additionally, Louise dreams and longs for the days to come, where she shall live her life on the front and not behind Bentley. Louise is both literally and symbolically looking through a window of opportunity, another relevant symbol in the story. The window represents the future, the opportunities that women will have in a future; the opportunities that are liberated by feminists. Finally, Louise realizes that her husband was never dead, she dies from a “joy that kills” –a quite ironic and liberating death since she had just begun to taste the real Louise without Mrs. Mallard (Chopin 215). The joy is also the…show more content…
In “The Storm,” Chopin explores the idea of sexual desire as a human emotion that is not exclusive for males. Even in today’s society, women possessing their bodies and undergo emotions such as sex drive. Calixta’s account in “The Storm,” reveals that passion and sexual experiences are female emotions and they have the choice to utilize their flesh for what it was made for: pleasure. Initially, the story focuses on the hours prior to the storm, where all the characters are anxious for what is yet to come. Calixta, however, is shown to feel “… no uneasiness for her safety” because she knows that sexual desire is normal and once it passes, whether it is satisfied or not, everything turns back to normal (Chopin 81). As the storm approaches, Alce Leballire is introduced, and the passion between the two emanates from the pages of “The Storm.” Calixta explains that sexual awakenings are sporadic, like storms, in the phrase “’ My! What a rain! It had been two years since it rain’ like that,” explaining that, despite sexual needs being a day to day human emotion, the need for a different experience, something strong, with thunders and showers of passion, is also a female sentiment (Chopin 282). Furthermore, another imperative point to highlight is the storm as a gloomy setting and plot device. According to Chopin, the weather obscured “… the view of far-off cabins and distant wood in a gray mist”
Open Document