Insanity and Feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Insanity and Feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Insanity and Feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman reflects the

intense struggle with of a woman during the late 1800’s. However, as the

story unfolds, we realize the reasons for this insanity and the connections of

this breakdown to the main character’s husband, John. What we discover is

the way women were treated during the late 1800’s and the significance of

this treatment on their lives. The story clearly expresses the pain,

opposition, and depression experienced by women at that time and provides a

backdrop for the initial stages of the feminist movement.

As the story begins, the author decribes in detail her painful

relationship with her husband. She writes “John laughs at me of course, but

one excepts that in marriage”. She also explains “So I take phosphates or

phosphites-whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise,

and am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again.” It is clear that

the main character is very unhappy...

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