Main Characters In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Everyone at some point in their life has felt like they were almost driven crazy by someone or something. This is the case for the main character in Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. During this story, the protagonist is locked in a room in which she despises simply because of the wallpaper. As the story progresses, she starts to notice figures that seem to be trapped in the wallpaper. I firmly believe that the figures that seem to be trapped in the wallpaper not only represent the main character’s struggles, but also other woman who have suffered the horrible mistreatment of mental illness and women that were subject to punishment for trying to break out of their domestic spheres. In the “Yellow Wall-Paper,”…show more content…
They were also taught to stay at the house and live in a domestic sphere were the man of the house would go and work. It is also common knowledge that if women tried to break out of their domestic spheres, they would be punished for it. Not only for trying to break out of their domestic sphere, but also just speaking about what’s on their minds. Even Andrea L. Miller and Eugene Borgida explain this by stating that “As described above, research on role congruity theory and descriptive and prescriptive stereotypes in the workplace has established that when men and women violate gender stereotypes by crossing spheres, with women pursuing career success and men contributing to domestic labor, they face backlash and economic penalties” (Miller and Borgida 2). This is exactly the case for the narrator and her husband. She even states that “And I know John would think it absurd. But I must say what I feel and think in some way - it is such a relief!” (Stetson 5). Not only does this quote show the reader that John doesn’t want to hear about the narrator complain about the wallpaper, it also shows him controlling the main character to some degree. Even Catherine J. Golden states that “She narrates how she attempted to follow Mitchell’s often quoted parting advice: to devote herself to her children, limit her intellectual activity and ‘never touch pen, brush, or pencil as long as you live’” (Golden 5). This is of great significance because, since the “Yellow Wall-Paper” is based upon certain events that had happened in Stetson’s life, it shows how restrictive and controlling Stetson’s husband, Mitchell, was during his diagnosis of her. It not only seems that he wanted her to focus on their children, but also limit her intellectual
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