Similarities Between Sweat And The Yellow Wallpaper

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The two works of literature nudging at the idea of women and their roles as domestic laborers were the works of Zora Neale Hurston in her short story “Sweat”, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Whatever the setting may be, whether it is the 1920’s with a woman putting her blood, sweat and tears into her job to provide for herself and her husband, or the 1890’s where a new mother is forced to stay at home and not express herself to her full potential, women have been forced into these boxes of what is and is not acceptable to do as a woman working or living at home. “Sweat” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” draw attention to suppressing a woman’s freedom to work along with suppressing a woman’s freedom to act upon her…show more content…
The narrator, a new mother, is revoked of her freedom to live a free life and denied the fact that she is “sick”, perhaps with postpartum depression, by her husband, a physician, who believes whatever sorrows she is feeling now will pass over soon. The problematic part of this narrative is that this woman is not only kept isolated in a room she wishes to have nothing to do with, but her creative expression is revoked by her husband as we can see when she writes: “there comes John, and I must put this away, - he hates to have me write a word (Gilman,…show more content…
However, it introduces the nineteenth century idea of “the cult of domesticity”. Historian Barbara Welter wrote an article on the idea in 1966 that explains this early nineteenth century ideology that a woman 's role at home should focus on: piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity (Welter 151). The cult of domesticity roughly breaks down to it being a woman 's duty to be respectfully religious, sexually pure before marriage, accepting of male dominance over women, and the overpowering idea that domesticity will preserve a woman from her own wandering
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