The effects of masculine structures and expectations from women pervade throughout the story. Virginia Woolf remains in Richmond because her husband is obeying the doctors even though she obviously dislikes Richmond. Laura was so devastated because she could not make the perfect cake for her husband. She was trying to play the role of the perfect mother and wife even though she was very unhappy. Clarrisan Vaughan spent so much time planning for a party that Richard did not want to attend.
The journal becomes an outlet for her true feelings that she believes would get her incarcerated if anyone else heard them. When she writes she states, “I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me. But I find I get pretty tired when I try.” Her husband who believes that her writing is contributing to her illness opposes this idea while not radical.
They have gone through a very traumatic time in their lives, they did not deal with it they both just brushed it away. Leroy needs to start working again, but still be there for his wife. They both have feelings about each other that they need to express. They need to confront Mabel about her controlling ways and realize that they have their own life that they need to live; they do not need a third person chiming in. They need to reconnect with each, get back to the way they were before Leroy.
Her mother holds the idea that women are supposed to look for a good husband, thus she wants her daughter to be a realistic product of the low regard in which girls were held during those times. This shows that Cecilia is somewhat tired of her mother because she does not approve of what she wants to be. Thus one can conclude that Cecilia is uncomfortable and at odds with her home and family: she feels alienated from her whole family. Her ideas of Paul Marshall and Danny Hardman make her seem as judgmental. When she meets the former character she wonders why her brother bothered introducing her to him if she is not going to marry him.
Blanche has crossed boundaries that have led her to feel more guilt and desperation. Her last hope for emotional and physical support is to live with her sister and her husband. Blanche is appalled at the type of dwelling in which her sister resides. She decorates the place so that she can mask it for her own benefit. In desperation she dates Mitch; a man she feels is beneath her but may help her out of her problem by supporting her.
During the story he’s trying to cure her depression and doesn’t act much like her husband as he does her doctor. The struggle with social expectations and personal goals I would say is that the narrator doesn’t want to be social she wants to be free. I feel she’s trying to get out of the marriage with John. The temporary home John chooses to stay at is quite shocking. The room for his wife could be portrayed as a prison cell.
Gilman stated, “What is it little girl” (478)! The narrator stated, “Felt trapped in her body and trapped in her life "Bless her little heart" (Gilman 478)! The narrator lives in a world where her spouse made choices for her on how she would be cured of her illness. Gilman is suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to their child. However, he did not make his wife feel better, which is why they visit there for, he just makes his wife feel worse with so much guilt on her.
The central characters in both “The Yellow Wallpaper” and A Doll’s House are fully aware of their niche in society. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator’s husband believes her illness to be a slight depression, and although she states "personally, I disagree with their ideas,” she knows she must acquiesce their requests anyway (Gilman 1). She says, “What is one to do?” (Gilman 1) The narrator continues to follow her husband’s ideals, although she knows them to be incorrect. She feels trapped in her relationship with her husband, as she has no free will and must stay in the nursery all day. She projects these feelings of entrapment onto the yellow wallpaper.
The females in the short stories gradually sink into madness due to the isolation and restriction forced into their lives. Due to Jane’s husband enforcing a life in confinement due to her nervous breakdowns, it only takes a little time for the isolation to drive her mad. In the beginning of the story, it is clear that the narrator, Jane, suffers from post-natal depression, which is a common effect after childbirth. The way Jane sees her living quarters is much different than it actually is. She imagines the rings on the walls, the torn up wallpaper, and the bars on the windows as a nursery or a school for boys, when those features actually lead the audience to realize that it is a room for the mentally ill.
The narrator sets up the story to convey a certain opinion of the repercussions a woman faces in the care of a man. She obviously loves her husband and trusts him but has some underlying feeling that maybe his prescription of total bed rest is not working for her. The story mentions that she has an older brother who is also a physician and concurs with her husbands theory, thus leaving her no choice but to subject herself to this torment of being totally alone in this room with the yellow wallpaper. She stares at this wallpaper for hours on end and thinks she sees a woman behind the paper. "I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman."