The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Length: 833 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman



“The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is an account of a repressed woman in the late eighteen hundreds. This story allows the reader to confront the issues that plagued nineteenth century society in which women suffered because of their mental weaknesses. It is this mental weakness which ultimately leads to her downfall.
The narrator is afflicted with temporary nervous depression. She makes it evident that this affliction is due to her repression by her husband, John. He has total control over her thoughts and feelings, her health, and over her life. He does not take her seriously and laughs at her but, in this society, “one expects that”. (Gilman 1) He controls every aspect of her life. He forces her to stay in a room which she despises, and consequently, drives her insane. Gilman builds up the story to convey her feelings of the repercussions a woman faces in total supervision and domination by a man. She follows her husband’s counsel of total bed rest, but deep within her, she knows this will be her destruction. However, as characteristic of a woman of this time period, she obediently accommodates the demands of the man. This leaves her no choice, but to subject herself to the anguish of being totally alone in a room with ghastly yellow wallpaper.
She stares at the wallpaper all day and all night because of her insomnia, and she ultimately determines that “Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern.” (Gilman 11) In time, the image appears clearer to the narrator. Th...


... middle of paper ...


...he struggle is finally over. “By trying to ignore and repress her imagination, in short, John eventually brings about the very circumstance he wants to prevent”. (Shumaker 589) The author leaves the ending subject to interpretation by the reader. My interpretation of the ending is that the narrator hangs herself at the end of the story when John finds her. This is one of the things John wanted to prevent from happening. It is possible that John faints and she leaves him, but I do not think that is possible. The narrator is not a strong enough woman to do that. Her character has been built up to show that she is the subservient woman whose options are limited by the dominance of a man. Consequently, her only outlet is to commit suicide by hanging herself. It was her destiny because of her limited options which being a woman of the eighteen hundreds entails.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Oppression and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator’s oppression and repression are strictly based on gender role and marriage. The women we see in the story are meant to find fulfillment in the home, while her physician husband has trapped her in the room all day and give her little contact with the outside world. It shows disrespect for women in marriage. Maybe if her physician husband understands her more, she might get better. By using perspective, setting and irony Gilman paints a picture of how many women are imprisoned by masculine authorities also realistic picture of the problem in human societies, gender role and marriage of African-Americans in Civ...   [tags: gender, marriage, unhappiness]

Better Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Oppression and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- In "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator's oppression and repression are strictly based on gender role and marriage. As we can see the women in the story are meant to find fulfillment in the home, but her physician husband has trapped her in her room all day and all night and give her a little opportunity to contact with the outside world. It shows disrespect for women in marriage. Maybe if her physician husband understands her more, she might get better....   [tags: short story, gender role, marriage]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is an account of a repressed woman in the late eighteen hundreds. This story allows the reader to confront the issues that plagued nineteenth century society in which women suffered because of their mental weaknesses. It is this mental weakness which ultimately leads to her downfall. The narrator is afflicted with temporary nervous depression. She makes it evident that this affliction is due to her repression by her husband, John....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
833 words (2.4 pages)

Women in The Awakening and the short stories “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins

- A feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality in the sexes however, in the 1890’s feminists did not exist as a result of patriarchal oppression. This time, women were expected to be devoted to their husband and children while continuing their mundane roles as housewives. Although, women during the 19th century began to feel suffocated living within the strict social roles, they had to follow the norm, although some wanted liberty. Feminist ideas can be exposed in literature and feminist literary theory, focuses on the complex ways of women with no social power and expected roles in a “man’s world.” According to Donald Hall, one of his key principles about...   [tags: Repression, Feminism, Patriarcal Society]

Better Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Symbolism and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Symbolism and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper        Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is as a wonderful example of the gothic horror genre. It was not until the rediscovery of the story in the early 1970’s that “The Yellow Wallpaper” was recognized as a feminist indictment of a male dominated society. The story contains many typical gothic trappings, but beneath the conventional façade hides a tale of repression and freedom told in intricate symbolism as seen through the eyes of a mad narrator....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
2045 words (5.8 pages)

Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman

- Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman The "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman is a great story about the repression of women in the late 1800's but is still representative of issues faced by women today. She writes from her own personal experiences and conveys a message that sometimes in a male dominated society women suffer from the relentless power that some men implement over women. The narrator is suffering from a mild depression that her physician husband has prescribed complete bed rest in order for her to recover....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Gilman]

Free Essays
301 words (0.9 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- ... I never saw worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (474). The narrator wishes to be away from this room it is not a place for her to get well. Asha Nadkarni shows how “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Jasmine” and how they both have similar climax on how feminism where directed by men back then. The idea she gives in her article based on Gilman not having the same view as the novel “Jasmine”. There is depression in one and freedom in another, but the comparison that they both have are merely on women trying gain there freedom back....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gillman

- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, is a feminist short story. It is about a woman who is mentally ill and gets misdiagnosed by her controlling husband. He puts her in a room saying doing nothing will cure her. While in the room she becomes captivated by the yellow wallpaper. She starts to see a trapped woman in the wallpaper. The woman’s obsession over the wallpaper and imprisonment in the room causes her to lose her mind. She has fallen victim to her madness in her desire to let the woman out the wallpaper....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1347 words (3.8 pages)

Charlotte Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a journal that a woman has written in secret from her husband as she is in a room isolated by herself. She secretly writes the journal to express her feelings. The woman, Jane, is sick, and her husband prescribes her a rest cure to recover. He forbids her from doing anything, which includes writing. The isolation and repression of her life are made clear through the setting of the story, her husband John, and the thoughts and writing of her journal. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1091 words (3.1 pages)

Social Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Social Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper   “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a symbolic tale of one woman’s struggle to break free from her mental prison.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows the reader how quickly insanity takes hold when a person is taken out of context and completely isolated from the rest of the world.  The narrator is a depressed woman who cannot handle being alone and retreats into her own delusions as opposed to accepting her reality.  This mental prison is a symbol for the actual repression of women’s rights in society and we see the consequences when a woman tries to free herself from this social slavery.                The story unfolds as the nameless narrator’s condi...   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)