Search For Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper

Search For Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 921 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The “Yellow Wall-Paper” is a reflection of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal situations, regarding the protection of the rights of woman. She provides a critique on traditional feminine roles, and women’s desperation to get out of them. In the short story, the author depicts the idea that women conforming to the norms of society can be driven to destruction. Her criticism  of gender conflicts is portrayed through the journal entries of the narrator. In order to illustrate her feminist concerns about gender equality, Gilman employs the characters of John, Jennie, and the narrator.

            The author makes a statement of her belief of men’s inclination to dominate woman through John’s treatment of his wife. Men who wish to have control over their wives do so by demanding, and demeaning tactics. For instance, John has “forbidden (her) to work”(631), and calls her a “blessed little goose”(633). He patronizes his wife by ignoring her early cries of help, and denies her the very things that might help her such as “companionship…(visits)”(633). It is also important to note that John, and the narrator’s brother are physicians. Together they represent the male medical establishment which contrasts female hysteria. He uses her as a stepping stone for his career even though he tells her they came to the ancestral mansion “solely on (her) account”(631). It is all a matter of control. Up until the very end of the story John is still trying to restrain his wife under his power which Gilman demonstrates when he “(faints)…right across (her) path”(642). Through John’s condescending behavior towards his wife, the author sends a clear message that most men tend to degrade their wives so as to establish their self-worth.


... middle of paper ...

...s an hysteric and prescribed a “rest cure” which prohibited her writing and labeled her feminism and social critique as symptoms for uterine illness.

The Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as an advocacy of woman’s rights and sexual equality. In this context, it would be appropriate to label Gilman as an early feminist. She is prepared to use so-called male methods of manipulation, shrewdness, and defiance. The author has clearly presented a gender confrontation, evaluates the circumstances of certain conflicts, and provides approaches to escape them.  

Works cited

-Perkins Gilman, Charlotte. “The Yellow Wall-Paper”. The Norton Introduction To Literature. U.S.: Beaty, Hunter

-Perkins Gilman, Charlotte. “Short Stories”

-“Feminism”. The Oxford Dictionary Of Current English. 1996

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Quest for Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Quest for Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper   The short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a cry for freedom.  This story is about a woman who fights for her right to express what she feels, and fights for her right to do what she wants to do.  The narrator in this short story is a woman whose husband loves her very much, but oppresses her to the point where she cannot take it anymore.  This story revolves around the main character, her oppressed life, and her search for freedom....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Gilman

- Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow wallpaper” is about a woman who retreats into an obsessive fantasy, due to the fact that she feels imprisoned in a marriage where she has little to no say in her own life. We learn in the beginning of the story that our character suffers from a nervous disorder, that we now know today as post-partum depression. In the search for a treatment our Narrators husband, John, prescribes “Rest Therapy”. The “Rest Therapy” that is prescribed prevents her from “working”, seeing friends, and enforces isolation....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1168 words (3.3 pages)

An Analysis Of ' A Rose For Emily ' And ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

- The stories “A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman both touch on the topic of insanity. In both stories, the insanity is caused by an obsession over a certain thing, or person. This suggests to the reader that fixating on a certain thing in life, even if it seems good at the time, often ends up being detrimental to our health. There are a few things that bring about the downfall of Emily and the woman from “The Yellow Wallpaper” who is possibly Jane, which is what I will be calling her in this paper....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Charlotte Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- It is not always easy to see the ties that bind us. Many people feel they are restrained some way in their everyday life. Their job, their families, the society around them, all of this holds them back. It is up to the individual to decide how to break out of their captivity. In Charlotte Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Jane’s captivity is both physical and mental, and her struggle to break this physical captivity only reinforces her mental captivity. Her inability to recognize both of these causes her only to fall further into captivity, as her mental stability fractures....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1030 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper     "The Yellow Wallpaper," written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late nineteenth century, explores the dark forbidding world of one woman's plunge into a severe post-partum depressive state. The story presents a theme of the search for self-identity. Through interacting with human beings and the environment, the protagonist creates for herself a life of her own. Charlotte Gilman, through the first person narrator, speaks to the reader of the stages of psychic disintegration by sharing the narrator's heightened perceptions: "That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don't care--there is something strange about the house--I...   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

The Search for Meaning in The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Frankenstein, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Road Not Taken

- Elusive as it may be, the human race has, and will always, search for meaning. The need for this fulfillment is a fundamental part of the human condition for man and woman alike; however, gaining one’s definition is a mysterious and arduous task. The path to finding meaning is often treacherously opaque and deceptive, so when someone believes they have solved the riddle of gaining fulfillment, they are prone to advertise their findings. Based on the ideas presented though The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman, and The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, there...   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
2246 words (6.4 pages)

A Comparison of Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums and Gillman's The Yellow Wallpaper

- Gender Inequality: A comparison of Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” and Gillman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Throughout history, Women have experienced a time when they did not have equal rights as men. It was defined as a time when women were stuck in a patriarchal society in which women were dependent on men, giving them complete control over everything. This was a major issue during the early 1900’s. It was during this time that numerous authors used this pressing issue to create renowned works of literature....   [tags: gender inequality]

Better Essays
1328 words (3.8 pages)

Desire For Freedom in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

- “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1899. One of the major themes is the cultural perception of women during this time. This short story is semi-autobiographical in the sense that Gilman went to the doctor that is mentioned in the story. She had similar struggles and feelings to the narrator of this story who is facing the controlling nature of her husband. While women of this time were trying to be kept in their private and domestic sphere, it left women feeling hopeless and full of depression....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
1675 words (4.8 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)

Male Dominance in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Male Dominance in The Yellow Wallpaper           The story of The Yellow Wallpaper reflects the period where men dominated women.  The real meaning of this story is written hidden behind it.  The author had used a writing style that is taking objects portraying men, women, and society.           The story first starts off a couple have moved to a house. A so- called haunted house, her wife describes it.  The wife, who is a patient of her husband, has moved here to cure her sickness.  She does not admit that she has a problem.  Everyday she keeps looking at the tore yellow wallpaper....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
589 words (1.7 pages)