The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Gilman

The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Gilman

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“The Yellow Wall-paper” is a fictional narrative that is powerful for its broad implications for women. The main character suffers from a “temporary nervous depression” and throughout the short story is physically and mentally suppressed by the “rest cure” that her physician husband, John, prescribed. She is not allowed to walk around the house and is confined to her bed for long periods of time. Charlotte Gilman 's short narrative was written during a time that was defined by "domestic ideology" that characterized the family home as the specified sphere of woman. It was dominant thinking and the belief that “women were innately weaker and less capable of taking care of themselves” that allowed male physicians to keep women suppressed and in their homes (Learning 1). As women pushed for broader roles outside their home, Gilman used her personal battle with depression to write “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gilman states that “The Yellow Wallpaper” was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy” (Gilman, “Why I wrote” 1). Her intentions were made clear through the applied schema of repetition as she emphasizes the theme of women subordination. She implements two types of repetition, anaphora and parallelism, to express her disapproval of the “rest cure” medical treatment and to highlight the misogynistic principles and sexual politics that allowed it to be possible.
The deliberate use of anaphora, the repetition of words at the start of sentences, is found commonly throughout the story to portray the sense of personal disagreement and unrest that Gilman felt toward the rest cure. The main character’s husband and brother, both physicians, say that she is not sick and only has a “nervous tendency.” She i...


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...ivities, it is obvious that John manages to also suppress her thoughts. Gilman uses the repetition of the phrase “but John says” to add emphasis on the sudden change of thinking. Halfway through her thought process, she cuts herself off and states what John says. By using parallelism, Gilman shows the significance of male dominance which emphasizes the subordination of women. She shows how John has such a strong influence on the main character that he is able to dictate her actions and even her way of thinking.
 Overall, the point of portraying her disagreement with the cure is to warn others about the effects of subordination. Gilman effectively accomplishes her goal when she speaks of a success story where the story “saved one woman from a similar fate--so terrifying her family that they let her out into normal activity and she recovered.” (Gilman, “Why I wrote” 1)

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The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Gilman

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