This gender division meritoriously kept women in a childlike state of obliviousness and prevented them from reaching any scholastic or professional goals. John, the narrator’s husband, establishes a treatment for his wife through the assumption of his own superior wisdom and maturity. This narrow minded thinking leads him to patronize and control his wife, all in the name of “helping her”. The narrator soon begins to feel suffocated as she is “physically and emotionally trapped by her husband” (Korb). The narrator has zero control in the smallest details of her life and is consequently forced to retreat into her fantasies... ... middle of paper ... ...at the narrator will possibly be physically restrained or imprisoned at some point when her husband regains consciousness.
She is confined, controlled and devalued by her husband. She is powerless to renegotiate her situation. She is trapped by her treatment, her environment and her social role as a wife, with no hope of change. Given the hopelessness of her situation, she chooses to overpower what she can defeat, a figment of her imagination. The setting is a colonial mansion, which the husband, John, has rented as a place of respite for her recovery.
Self-destructive Self-expression in The Yellow Wallpaper In "The Yellow Wallpaper", a story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the conflict centers around the protagonist's inability to maintain her sanity in a society that does not recognize her as an individual. Her husband and brother both exert their own will over hers, forcing her to conform to their pre-set impression an appropriate code of behavior for a sick woman. She has been given a "schedule prescription for each hour in the day; [John] takes all care from me" (155). This code of behavior involves virtually no exertion of her own free-will. Rather, she is expected to passively accept the fact that her own ideas are mere fancy, and only the opinions of the men in her life can be trusted.
It does weigh on me so not to do my duty in any way I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 2). In this insight into the narrator’s mind one can see how she bases her self worth in what her husband thinks of her and since she believes that all she is to him is a burden, then she has no validation of her self worth through anyone but him. Restate Thesis- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the use of the Narrator’s conflict throughout the story causes her to have a mental breakdown brought upon by the narrator’s conflict with the environment she is in, the conflict with her husband, and the conflict within herself. The narrator’s conflict with her environment, her husband, and within herself brings upon her mental breakdown. If people would look past their own desires and opinions of others then people might be able to truly help others, instead of harming them by confining them to the box people put them
Her environment feels to her very much like a prison with her husband merely pushing aside her feelings of distaste, believing that giving in and listening to her desires will only worsen her condition. When the narrator wishes for the walls to be fixed, her husband refuses, stating “nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies. After the wall-paper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on” (Gilman 3). The narrator feels entrapped by the house’s bars and gates, but her husband in no way gives her feelings consideration and he refuses to change her environment, therefore keeping her imprisoned within the house, the gilded cage, and her mind. Although the house illustrates feminist views a great deal, the greatest setting to emphasize those views is the wallpaper in the bedroom; “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!” (Gilman 7).
The story takes a shocking turn as she finally discerns what that figure is: a woman. As the story progress she believes the sole reason for her recovery is the wallpaper. She tells no one of this because she foresees they may be incredulous so she again feels the need to repress her thoughts and feelings. On the last night of their stay, she is determined to free the woman trapped behind bars. She begins to tear strips of the wallpaper and continues to all night by morning yards of the paper are stripped off.
The narrator is ordered by her husband, who is serving as her physician as well, that she is “absolutely forbidden to work” and instead get “perfect rest,” and “all the air” the narrator can get (Gilman, 549). The narrator is confined to spend her time in a room which is playing tricks on her mind until she can no longer identify reality from her imagination. Another cause of the narrator’s loneliness is her husband’s rare presence at home due to his work as a physician, “away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious,” leaving the narrator with his sister, who even then also leaves the narrator alone most of the time (Gilman, 550). The narrator falls into a state of insanity because she hardly had anyone with her to normally interact with. The only interaction she did have was that of the yellow wallpaper which constantly plagued her mind.
The woman she imagines causes her to be more and more interested in the wall-paper. The last night they were at the house, she was alone in the room and “As soon as it was moonlight and the poor thing began to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her” (655). The woman’s obsession with the paper got so bad over time, that combined with the other negative factors in her life she became completely crazy. Her
For example, when they recently moved in to the summer home they are staying at throughout the story, she suggested to her husband what room she’d like, she said “I don't like our room a bit. I wanted one downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings! but John would not hear of it.” The narrator knows what she wants but she doesn’t want to tell her husband because she knows he will not understand because he thinks that isolation is what’s best for her condition but it is what is making her worse. She is now stuck in the nursery, taking medication every hour of the day, unable to see her own child and even unable to write in her personal journal although it is what makes her feel better. The narrator is unable to break free from her husband, she has gotten used to the fact that whatever her husband says must be right therefore, now she is not able to express herself.
She was denied any strenuous activity and he forbids her to do any work until she was well. Her husband’s sister cared for her child while she was recovering as she was convinced it was the right th... ... middle of paper ... ...inst the social norms, although they may not have been ready to face the consequences. The male dominant society had repressed the women and their intellectual abilities so far to the point of retaliation. Confinement to the domestic sphere provided no outlet for work. Edna and the narrator were unable to pursue or didn’t have time for their artistic crafts because of societal and domestic constraints.