The Feminist Reflection Of Charlotte Perkins Gilman And The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper, published in the late nineteenth century, has been one of the most analyzed pieces of literature regarding feminism and the psychology of women. Many believe that the work’s narrator is a direct reflection of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her opinion on psychology of the time. Many would see this story as a psychological breakdown play by play, it is clear from a feminist standpoint that this is an observation on the state of women in the late 1800s, and perhaps even of the author’s own struggles with a society run by men. The feminist views are clear in the portrayal of John (the narrator’s husband), the thoughts and writing of the narrator, and the environment in which she is placed. When combined, these components describe…show more content…
She eventually returned to the East coast and married George Houghton Gilman, her first cousin, after she divorced her first husband. According to Gilman, she was the happiest she had ever been while married to George. In 1935, Charlotte committed suicide after being diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer.
Many feminist and psychoanalytical articles, books, and journals have been written about Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Yellow Wallpaper. Most critics blame the patriarchy of the late nineteenth century as the cause of the narrator’s mental state. While others try to reason that the narrator’s madness is a due to the limitations placed upon her by a society dominated by males, and that she is not really
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Gilman replied, “It was not my intention to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy,” (“Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”,”). In her response to the literary criticism, “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman cites that her reason for writing the piece was to get the attention of the medical society and to “reach Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, and convince him of the error of his ways,”. Gilman was referring to the rest cure that he prescribed to her. She described the rest cure to inhibit true recovery. She “came so near to the border of mental ruin that she could see over,” after thoroughly following his instructions of rest and domestic duties (“Why I Wrote “The Yellow
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