Theme Of Women In The Yellow Wallpaper

Good Essays
Women have been taught that they are inferior to men and because of this, many have developed low self-esteem and mental illnesses. Depriving one of many basic rights while also telling them that they are the lesser gender can severely damage one psychologically. Charlotte Perkins Gilman challenged the mental abuse towards women in her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Perkins Gilman highlighted how men and even other women made women out to be lesser creatures than men. The main character, Jane, is pent up in a room by the hands of her husband and brother to “cure” her. She is looked after by her sister-in-law, Jeannie, and after being confined and not allowed to do anything productive, her sanity breaks. This story illustrates the harmful mental effects of centuries of women being socially confined and oppressed.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” cleverly disguises the perpetual persecution of women as the pattern on the wallpaper and the female gender as the women behind it. Jane is the only person who can see the woman. This symbolizes Jane’s awareness to gender
…show more content…
When talking about her sister in law, Jane says, “[Jennie] is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession. I verily believe she thinks it is the writing which made me sick!” Jeannie is the image of the perfect woman at the time Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written, which was the 1890’s. This quote is an example of how women blindly pushed oppression onto other women. Jeannie believes what society has told her about other women, which to quote Amy Hudock from her article also titled “The Yellow Wallpaper”: “Physicians, who actually had little knowledge of the inner workings of the female body, presented complex theories arguing that the womb created hysteria and madness, that it was the source of women’s
Get Access