The Yellow Wallpaper and A Doll’s House

The Yellow Wallpaper and A Doll’s House

Length: 916 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In society, there has always been a gap between men and women. Women are generally expected to be homebodies, and seen as inferior to their husbands. The man is always correct, as he is more educated, and a woman must respect the man as they provide for the woman’s life. During the Victorian Era, women were very accommodating to fit the “house wife” stereotype. Women were to be a representation of love, purity and family; abandoning this stereotype would be seen as churlish living and a depredation of family status. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Henry Isben’s play A Doll's House depict women in the Victorian Era who were very much menial to their husbands. Nora Helmer, the protagonist in A Doll’s House and the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” both prove that living in complete inferiority to others is unhealthy as one must live for them self. However, attempts to obtain such desired freedom during the Victorian Era only end in complications.
The central characters in both “The Yellow Wallpaper” and A Doll’s House are fully aware of their niche in society. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator’s husband believes her illness to be a slight depression, and although she states "personally, I disagree with their ideas,” she knows she must acquiesce their requests anyway (Gilman 1). She says, “What is one to do?” (Gilman 1) The narrator continues to follow her husband’s ideals, although she knows them to be incorrect. She feels trapped in her relationship with her husband, as she has no free will and must stay in the nursery all day. She projects these feelings of entrapment onto the yellow wallpaper. She sees a complex and frustrating pattern, and hidden in the pattern are herself and othe...


... middle of paper ...


...ow Wallpaper" and Henry Isben’s play A Doll's House both prove that independence is key in a woman’s life in order to feel free; yet social norms of the Victorian Age cause freedom to come at a high cost. Nora, the heroine in A Doll’s House, escapes from her husband’s confinement by leaving her family. While this seems revolutionary, Nora’s freedom will only cause confusion in her life. Had she not had her personal awakening on individualism, she would have remained happy with her family. In the “Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator achieves freedom through madness. The narrator thinks she is free when she goes mad, yet this is only a brief feeling, as she will most likely realize the publicity of her mental state will only increase the restrictions upon her. In both texts, the heroines break for freedom will only result in more confusion and confinement in their lives.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Love in The Yellow Wallpaper, Hlls Like White Elephants, and A Doll's House

- Love in The Yellow Wallpaper, Hlls Like White Elephants, and A Doll's House True love is the love that everyone fantasizes about. It is the love that is unconditional and everlasting. Love is very hard to define since everybody's concept of love is different. However, in order to achieve a good relationship, people must have a well balanced power structure in their relationship, and good understanding and communication between them. In the stories, "The Yellow Wallpaper,'; "Hills Like White Elephants,'; and "A Doll's House,'; one could see the lopsided relationship between the males and females....   [tags: Elephants Doll's Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
1708 words (4.9 pages)

Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays: Women's Subordination

- Women's Subordination in The Yellow Wallpaper         "The Yellow Wallpaper," written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a chilling study of insanity. It is a bitter story of a young woman driven to insanity by a "loving" husband-doctor, who imposes Mitchell's "rest cure."1 This short story vividly reflects a woman in torment. This story starts out with a hysterical woman who is overprotected by her "loving" husband John. She is taken to a summer home to recover from a nervous condition....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, observes the everyday life of an average Norwegian family. The role that each character plays in this family is very stereotypical. Nora is the obedient housewife and Torvald is the ideal “working man.” The life Nora and Torvald have built crumbles in the end, as a result of flaws in the social order. The responsibilities placed on Nora, Torvald, women, and men limit their freedoms to exist for themselves. Men and women depend too much on each other. If people realize that they are being forced to be and act a certain way, then they will act out against the order....   [tags: women in society, letters, inferiority]

Better Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper

- For centuries men and women have been taught from an early age how to behave. Boys are taught to play war, hunt, and other skills deemed “Manly”. Women are also taught how young ladies are to behave. Women are to tend to housework and rear children. Over the last 150 years women have fought to fight these stereotypes and break away from traditional gender roles. Forcing traditional gender roles upon women (or men), instead of allowing them to forge their own identity can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of a woman and her family....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Perkins Gilman]

Free Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

the yellow wallpaper

- How Passivity and Submissiveness lead to madness by Charlette Perkins Gilman and Henrik Ibsen “He told me all his opinions, so I had the same ones too; or if they were different I hid them, since he wouldn’t have cared for that” (Ibsen 109). As this quote suggests Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and Henrik Ibsen, in A Doll House dramatize that, for woman, silent passivity and submissiveness can lead to madness. The narrator of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” is driven to madness after she withdraws into herself....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Instable Families in House of Usher, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Dead  

-     There is, of course, no such thing as the perfect family, although many families attempt to present the perfect family image. If we had insights into the families who claim to be perfect or ones who claim "satisfaction," surely we would begin to see the fissures and "tokens of instability" in their foundations (Poe 720). Three stories from the last half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century -- Poe's "The fall of the House of Usher," Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," and Joyce's "The Dead"-- provide us with three types of troubled families, all three of whom seemed to provide "satisfaction," yet which have fissures and instabilities....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1417 words (4 pages)

The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

- The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator becomes more depressed throughout the story because of the recommendation of isolation that was made to her. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. The narrator’s husband, a physician, adheres to this belief and forces his wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal the narrator of her psychological disorder, the treatment only contributes to its effects, driving her into a severe depression....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper             The Room itself represents the author’s unconscious protective cell that has encased her mind, represented by the woman, for a very long time. This cell is slowly deteriorating and losing control of her thoughts. I believe that this room is set up as a self-defense mechanism when the author herself is put into the asylum. She sets this false wall up to protect her from actually becoming insane and the longer she is in there the more the wall paper begins to deteriorate....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1463 words (4.2 pages)

Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays - Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper                 Throughout history people have always seemed to follow what notions that were considered "cool". Though I doubt that "cool" was the word used to describe these notions they were still there in some form or another. One of the greatest farces ever committed in the name of these popular perceptions was medicine. At that time, medicine that was on the cutting edge seem to have always involved some sort of noxious chemical or a typically atrocious diet....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Free Essays
1225 words (3.5 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)