Symbolic Meaning Behind Charlotte Perkins Gilman´s The Yellow Paper

Symbolic Meaning Behind Charlotte Perkins Gilman´s The Yellow Paper

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The roles in which gender is the main factor has been fought over but the fact of the matter is that it is still being fought over today. Not only is a gender role an old disagreement, but it is also the hidden symbolic meaning behind Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. In her short story published in 1899, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman effectively use symbolic patterns to comment on how societal oppressions create insanity.
Although John thinks he is being supportive by enforcing the “rest cure” for his wife, his lack of listening reflects the roles determined by gender. Men have grown up in a society in which changing what they do not approve of, even women, is okay. Gilman’s main character is intimidated by a figure of her imagination. A figure of being the wife she is supposed to be, whom acts the way she is supposed to act because “[S]he is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession” (Gilman The Yellow Wallpaper 3). As John does not approve of the way his wife acts, he takes it upon himself to diagnose his wife, the main character. He tells her that she is not healthy and for her to be ready to be a mother and an acceptable wife, as well to get better, she needs to live in in their house coincidently three miles from the village. “The Cult of Purity obliged women to remain virtuous and pure even in marriage” (Thomas 1). The men’s role in society pressures women to live up to their standards. The Cult of Purity was established to keep wives faithful to their husbands. Men set the limitations for women to follow because in a society dominated by the male gender women would feel oppressed and instead of blaming the men they could blame the cult.
The male race feels as though their ...


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...and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Gilman Web. 26 Nov. 2013. .
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. [New York]: Feminist, 1973. Print.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper”. Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. http://www.charlotteperkinsgilman.com/008/04/why-i-wrote-yellow- wallpaper charlotte.html.
Snyder-Rheingold, Beth. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”: A Poetics of the Inside.” Women Writers: A Zine. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. http://www.womenwriters.net/domesticgoddess/snyder.htm
Thomas, Deborah. “The Changing Role of Womanhood: From True Woman to New Woman in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” “Academic and Event Technology Services. Dr. Jim Wohlpart, 27 July 1988. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. http://itech.fguc.edu/falculty/wohlpart/ara/gilman.htm.

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