Gender Confinement : Oppression And Depression Essay

Gender Confinement : Oppression And Depression Essay

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Gender Confinement: Oppression and Depression
Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes “The Yellow Wallpaper” to express how women’s rights are oppressed, how society deals with depression and how gender inequality is prevalent in the 19th century. This short story takes place during a period where women are not treated equal to men, and women have few rights. The author uses “The Yellow Wallpaper” to get this point across to the reader. Throughout time, women have experienced confinement through gender, depression and oppression. Through each of these ways of confinement, Charlotte Perkins Gilman attempts to show how gender, depression and oppression leads to the narrator’s confinement in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman describes a marriage where both people are stuck in their assigned gender roles. In the article Controlling the Female Psyche: Assigned Gender Roles in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, English Professor Elizabeth Carey notes that John, the narrator’s husband, is a respected doctor and “rational thinker” and the narrator is the “dutiful wife who does not question her husband’s authority.” The narrator falls into her role easily by trying to do everything her husband tells her to do. Their marriage is a typical 19th century marriage where roles are established due to their gender. Despite the narrator’s objections, she agrees to treatment for depression because her husband wants her to receive treatment. The narrator is portrayed as being submissive to her husband. When he tells her to do something she obeys him without question. During this time period, men are seen as the dominant sex. They are the main providers of the family while women are seen as soft and weak. When the ...


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... roles. The narrator and her husband act in ways that are typical of the 19th century. Charlotte Perkins Gilman also describes how depression has an impact on the narrator’s feeling of dissolution and confinement by describing the situation the woman in going through. During this time period, men are clearly dominant over women, both physically and mentally, which leads one to believe that women are oppressed. Men dominate women in all facets of life while oppressing them to be obedient. In The Yellow Wallpaper’ and Women’s Discourse, Author Karen Ford states that “The narrator releases herself (and other women) from the paper by tearing it down.” The narrator is obsessed until the very end of the story when she overcomes her husband’s ways and frees herself. These are all indicative of how women experience confinement through gender, depression and oppression.

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