In The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator weaves a tale of a woman with deep seeded feelings of depression. Her husband, a physician, takes her to a house for a span of three months where he puts her in a room to recuperate. That “recuperation” becomes her nemesis. She is so fixated on the “yellow wallpaper” that it seems to serve as the definition of her bondage. She gradually over time begins to realize what the wallpaper seems to represents and goes about plotting ways to overcome it. In a discussion concerning the wallpaper she states, “If only that top pattern could be gotten off from the under one! I mean to try it, little by little.” “There are only two more days to get this paper off, and I believe John is beginning to notice. I don’t like the look in his eyes.”
On their final day in the house she completes her plan by stripping all that she could of the rest of the wallpaper from the walls. Her intention was to bring a sense of shock to her husband. This seems to be her way of punishing him for the part he played in trapping her in the room with this hideous wallpaper. I think it goes further than just the room to make a statement of how she feels trapped in her entire life with her husband. She is “freeing” the woman who is trapped...
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...rator just gained freedom only in her own mind, but in If I Were a Man Molly gained freedom not only in her mind but also offered a sense of freedom to others by showing them the truth. “As for Mother Eve-I wasn’t there and can’t deny the story, but I will say this. If she brought evil into the world, we men have had the lion’s share of keeping it going ever since-how about that?”
In both stories, the women experienced an opportunity to break free but to me the greatest breakthrough happened in If I Were a Man in the last sentence of the story. “They drew into the city, and all day long in his business, Gerald was vaguely conscious of new views, strange feelings, and the submerged Mollie learned and learned.” Mollie had a true metamorphosis of knowledge and knowledge is power. Both of the women escaped the prison of their own mind, if only for that moment in time.
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