The Movement for Women's Rights Inside The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Movement for Women's Rights Inside "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Women have been mistreated, enchained and dominated by men for most part of the human history. Until the second half of the twentieth century, there was great inequality between the social and economic conditions of men and women (Pearson Education). The battle for women's emancipation, however, had started in 1848 by the first women's rights convention, which was led by some remarkable and brave women (Pearson Education). One of the most notable feminists of that period was the writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She was also one of the most influential feminists who felt strongly about and spoke frequently on the nineteenth-century lives for women. Her short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" characterizes the condition of women of the nineteenth century through the main character’s life and actions in the text. It is considered to be one of the most influential pieces because of its realism and prime examples of treatment of women in that time. This essay analyzes issues the protagonist goes through while she is trying to break the element of barter from her marriage and love with her husband. This relationship status was very common between nineteenth-century women and their husbands. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Gilman presents the behavior of society of the time. The protagonist is suppressed by her husband, John, and her brother, though they both mean well. The way she is treated by her husband and her brother is not outwardly “mean” because they never deal with her in anger, but the way that they suppress her by not letting her express her feelings or do what she wants, is still abuse. Even though, the way that they are treating her is wrong, it does not seem wrong because they both act gentle and kind towards her and make her think that they really do care about her. Throughout the story, the protagonist states her intentions to herself, but then does not act upon them because of her husband. This is further shown when she speaks of her husband and her brother, who "is also of higher standing," (Gilman 317) showing the high ranking of men in society. They keep her from doing the things she wants because they believe it is best for her to rest. She disagrees. "Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good" (Gilman 317). On p... ... middle of paper ... ...ble to see that it actually incorporates themes of women’s rights. Gilman mainly used the setting to support her themes. This short story was written in 1892, at that time, there was only one women's suffrage law. Now, because of many determinant feminists, speakers, teachers, and writers, the women’s rights movement has grown increasing large and is still in progress today. This quite recent movement took over more then a century to grant women the rights they deserve to allow them to be seen as equals to men. This story was a creative and moving way to really show how life may have been as a woman in the nineteenth century. Works Cited Eichelberger, Clayton. American Literary Realism 1870-1910. Vol. 8, issue 1. University of Texas, 1975. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper" (p.316-327). Literature: Reading and Writing With Critical Strategies. Ed. Steven Lynn. University of South Carolina, 2004 Pearson Education. Infoplease. Almanacs: “Key Events in Women’s Rights Movement” 2005 31 March 2005 Wohlpart, Jim. American Literature Research and Analysis Web Site. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”” 1997. Florida Gulf Coast University

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