preview

Overcoming Oppression in Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpape

Better Essays
Throughout time, various groups of people have been subject to some form of tyranny; forced into lives that are not their own. They have been and are stripped of basic rights and the unique qualities that they may possess. One will do just about anything to acquire freedom, once they have become the victim of this type of control. They will fight a higher authority; they will find an escape from themselves and social criticism. Whatever it may be that holds them back, they will resist.
Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper focuses on the maltreatment and inequality of females. Under her husband's command, a young woman suffering from postpartum depression is forced into complete isolation. Not only is she disconnected with the world around her, she must give up the right of self expression. She is not allowed "to engage in normal social conversation" because there is "the possibility of over-stimulating intellectual discussion." Writing, the one thing that she loves to do and longs to do most, is forbidden. This woman is confined to her room; a room that is not pleasurable by any means. The yellow wallpaper is the feature that seems to be the most perplexing. As the days go by, the "wallpaper comes to occupy the narrator's entire reality" until "she rips it from the walls to reveal its real meaning." In this moment, she feels as though she is finally free to be who she wants to be. Although she is driven to insanity, she is able to escape her oppressors. The Yellow Wallpaper can be used as an example of the effects of forcing others to live with strict limitations. It cannot be denied that oppression causes rebellion.
The woman in The Yellow Wallpaper is trapped within her own marriage. Her husband, John, is a physician ...

... middle of paper ...

...did. Everyone deserves a chance to live with a minimal amount of regulations on whom and what they want to be. Until people are free from oppression, there will always be some form of resistance.

Works Cited
Ford, Karen. ""The Yellow Wallpaper" and Women's Discourse." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 1985: 309-314.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." In An Introduction to Literature, by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto and William E Cain, 419-430. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006.
Thomas, Deborah. The Changing Role of Womanhood: From True Woman to New Woman in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper". July 27, 1998. http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/wohlpart/alra/gilman.htm (accessed January 27, 2014).
Treichler, Paula A. "Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in "The Yellow Wallpaper"." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 1984: 61-77.
Get Access