The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s bodies of work, Gilman highlights scenarios exploring traditional interrelations between man and woman while subtexting the necessity for a reevaluation of the paradigms governing these relations. In both of Gilman’s short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Turned”, women are victimized, subjected and mistreated. Men controlled and enslaved their wives because they saw them as their property. A marriage was male-dominated and women’s lives were dedicated to welfare of home and family in perseverance of social stability. Women are expected to always be cheerful and good-humored. Respectively, the narrator and Mrs. Marroner are subjugated by their husbands in a society in which a relationship dominated by the male is expected.
Both the narrator and Mrs. Marroner are searching for peace in her male conquered world. The narrator of the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is symbolic for all women in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a prisoner of a confining society. Just like society, her husband, John, controls and determines much of what his wife should or should not do, leaving her incapable of making her own decisions. Because he is a man and a physician of high standing, she accepts his orders. When reflecting on men’s behavior, Hausman said, “Gilman tried to prove that what the men think is a biologically ordained pattern of behavior was, in fact, a convention specifically related to their society and the biohistorical organization of human culture” (Hausman). Men treated their wives poorly because that is what they experienced in previous generations. Repression of women’s rights in society stereotype that women are fragile. Men believed they should not work and be discouraged from intell...

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...tuck in a home they both lived in. Mrs. Marroner and Gerta come together and face the injustice of subjugation by Mr. Marroner. They leave Mr. Marroner and he is left with guilt and sorrow, losing the two women he loved most.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, women were often portrayed as submissive to men. Women were seen as oppressed by society as well as by the males in their lives. Both of Gilman’s bodies of works, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Turned”, illustrate the fight for selfhood by women in a demoralized and oppressive environment. The narrator’s escape from her unbalanced marriage and captivity is her complete loss of sanity. Mrs. Marroner overcomes her husband’s infidelity and emotional control by taking in the vulnerable Gerta and leaving her husband. Their situations cause them and readers to start questioning the “naturalness” of gender roles.
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