Charlotte Gilman accomplishes her goal of spreading awareness about the oppression of women by forcing the readers to dig deep into The Yellow Wallpaper. The imagery and symbolism in the story is powerful. The woman’s emotional downfall is disturbing but the narrator until she exclaims, "I've got out at last, in spite of [John] and Jane. And I've pushed off most of the paper so you can't put me back" (172). The ending symbolizes the freedom for women that Gilman would like to see in the world.
The Feminist View of the Yellow Wallpaper The yellow wallpaper is a story about John and his wife who he keeps locked up due to her "nervous condition" of anxiety. John diagnoses her as sick and has his own remedy to cure her. His remedy s to keep her inside and deterring her from almost all activities. She is not allowed to write, make decisions on her own, or interact with the outside world. John claims that her condition is improving but she knows that it is not.
But now imagine reading a story about one of those women who is slowly losing her sanity, only to realize at the end of the story that it is written by the crazy woman herself. The reader travels the journey through her perspective alone and is able to feel the raw emotions, such as horror and terror. One way to define horror and terror
This clearly states that women at that had to suffer a lot due to male dominance. Mostly Gilman talks about her desire to not stay at that house and wanting to free herself from all the restrictions. Thus this story is all about the woman’s struggle against patriarchal society that constricts them. The narrator in the story tries to have the feeling of freedom by peeling off the wallpaper from the wall and accepting herself to be free. Even though the narrator peels the wallpaper, it’s just in her subconscious she is able to free herself from the cruel society.
The protagonist believes that there is a woman trapped by the wall, and that this woman only moves at night with the night light. The allusion to this light is not in the beginning of the story, but in the end. “She begins to strip of the wallpaper at every opportunity in order to free the woman she perceives is trapped inside. Paranoid by now, the narrator attempts to disguise her obsession with the wallpaper.” (Knight, p.81) In the description of the yellow wallpaper and what is seen behind it there are sinister implications that symbolize the closure of the woman. It implies that any intellectual activity is a deviation from their duties as a housewife.
The “woman” behind the wallpaper is a symbol of women being trapped by mental health. The narrator even says she is the woman who is trapped behind the wallpaper. The woman the describes the wallpaper as a prison, she says, “…worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!” (Gilman 426). Gilman is trying to show readers that women have no say in what happens to them when they have mental health problems. The narrator says “Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.” she knows what she needs but no will believe her.
She is Jane a woman that was once hidden behind hideous smothering yellow wallpaper and she is freed finally. “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents the woman that does not have a strong voice in her life. She is hidden behind her husband, illness, and maid throughout the story. This story gives a slight insight of how all women were treated in the 1890’s. Jane just wanted to escape and become the woman she wanted.
Subsequently, Jane discovers the woman behind the wallpaper, who only she can see. This woman symbolizes herself in that she is stuck with her mental illness and confined to her home, just as the "woman" is confined to the wallpaper. She writes, "So I told him that I really was not gaining here, and that I wished he would take me away." (Gilman 9); she feels trapped in the house just as the woman does behind the wallpaper, and begins to feel as if she is that woman. So when she finally eliminates the yellow wallpaper, she (as the trapped woman or hallucination) feels like she has been released and has a new freedom from John and Jane (herself).
This growing capital effort to increase standards of living by pushing every family member into the paid labour force has taken a toll on the family unit. The final issue that will be investigated in this report is how the traditional sex roles have remained constant, even with women’s ever-changing family position over the years. For decades, commencing back to the time when patriarchy was the “norm” and women were their husband’s property, men have oppressed women. This ideology of patriarchy existed way before it was ever examined by sociologists and it was accepted as a natural or biological way of living. It wasn’t... ... middle of paper ... ...andards that were being performed but indeed it was actually the standards of their wives” (Pittman et al., 1999, 748).
Her days are spent bedridden after an unknown trauma forces her husband to prescribe “rest cures” as the antidote. During this time period, women were dehumanized to an object that was to be seen and not heard. Resistance during this era was futile, so whatever a man deemed worthy of a woman’s doing, she permitted to do so. “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assure friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency- what one to do?” (Gilman 126) Although nothing is specifically identified in the story, this woman is suffering from post-partum depression and delirium. There is no baby to be found in the story, so one may assume a miscarriage or a stillborn death.