The Yellow Paperwall

872 Words2 Pages

After analyzing Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper", from a feminist perspective it is undoubtedly shown to challenge patriarchal ideals through the stories heavy amounts of symbolism. The story revolves around the thoughts of a woman suffering from hysteria who ultimately loses her sanity due to her interactions with the isolated environment and husband, John. The story does a clear job at showing the oppressions of women in the late nineteenth century through the narrator's conversations with John, the ideas she has written down and in her head, the room in which she is caged in and finally the reflection of the Gilman's life in this story. To start things off by focusing on John, his character had completely dominated over his wife by putting her in a more inferior position. The narrator thinks, "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that" (Gilman 544). John treats his wife's problems as a laughing matter because he doesn't take her beliefs seriously and as it is implied, a woman's problem isn't seen as something of high importance since laughter is an expected response. This is justified even more when the narrator would tell him about the wallpaper, "He laughs at me so about this wallpaper!...He said that after the wallpaper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead...and so on"(546). As a man, he would see his wife's dilemma with the wallpaper as childish despite her sensitive mental state, it didn't seem like a high priority to him so he casually disregards his wife's demands. The idea of the narrator being deemed as a child and immature is much visible when John calls her a, "...little girl"(550). Ultimately John's ignorance is what leads to his loss of control along with the narrator's freedom. T... ... middle of paper ... ...dvice given to her by her physician and resumed working again, and with that she was feeling some control over her life again. This ordeal she had experienced became her eventual motivation for "The Yellow Wallpaper" and it played a major role in ending the rest cure after her physician had read her work and decided on modifying his treatment for neurasthenia. The multiple issues that interact with another in the story of "The Yellow Wallpaper", along with Gilman's personal nightmare with neurasthenia, show the struggle of how it was to be a woman living under oppressive conditions that limited them physically and mentally. The point stressed by the author is that women aren't as inferior as society makes them out to be, along with the idea that in the end everyone is human, and despite people having a different gender, they all have the same concept of psychology.

Open Document