Barbara Welter’s Cult of True Womanhood illustrates the idea of female submissiveness, present in the nineteenth century, present in Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper. According to Welter, “Submission was perhaps the most feminine virtue expected of women” (152) of the nineteenth century. Thus society viewed submissive women as upright individuals. Therefore, submission was something t...
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...Through these assertions, Grimke also condemns the nineteenth century view of women as unnatural and implies the need for reform.
The importance of the Reform that both Grimke and Gilman both advocate is one that does not cost money. It is a reform in society’s thinking. The dangers of the absence or reform is clearly presented through Gilman’s short story. The picture that both writers portray of the nineteenth century rampant gender inequality is not flattering. However, the belief that the both seem to express for the possibility of reform shed hope in the nineteenth century. Despite this, many nineteenth century conceptions of women are still prevalent in today’s society. However, the degree to which these notions are expressed is a lot smaller in the current century then in the nineteenth one. Thus, Grimke’s and Gilman’s call for reform was eventually heeded.
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