Gender Roles In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Gender roles can have a negative effect on a person as was illustrated in the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The stereotypical gender roles which are associated with both men and women strip both genders of their individuality as it encourages all women and, subsequently, all men to behave in the same fashion as the rest of their gender. This limits self-expression and restricts people to conform to the gender roles set for them by society. Accordingly, this can lead to negative effects on a person if they feel that they do not act according to the gender roles set for them by society. The journal entries written by the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” display the negative effect that gender roles…show more content…
John did not believe that the narrator was actually suffering from an illness as it was believed that she was seeking attention. Many women in this time period when suffering from Post-Partum Depression were thought of to be attention seeking rather than ill due to the fact that it was a mental illness which is not visible. This led to the narrator only having her journal to confide in regarding her depression. As her illness progresses her journal entries become more illogical and scattered. They begin as logical and chronological accounts of her feelings and daily activities but quickly become illogical. The narrator becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper in her room and often notes that she sees other women in the wallpaper. Phrases such as, “But nobody could climb through that pattern-it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads.”, and, “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.”, become frequent statements made by the narrator in her journal regarding her obsession over the pattern of the wallpaper. As time passes, the images become clearer in her mind and translate into her journal entries, this represents the progression of her illness. Eventually, she reaches her breaking point and has a complete mental breakdown. It can be argued that had the narrator been treated as an intelligent human being and been allowed to express herself outside of her journal, her illness would not have led to a mental
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