The Yellow Wallpaper: Becoming the Woman Behind The Paper

The Yellow Wallpaper: Becoming the Woman Behind The Paper

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According to the Webster’s Dictionary, feminism is defined as “… women should have political, economic, and social rights equal to those of men.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows that feminism was not acceptable before the mid-nineteen hundreds and sometimes is not accepted today. While the main character, who is unnamed throughout the story, is a prisoner of the yellow wallpaper and a prisoner of society itself, she fights to keep her sanity. In the end, one finds out that she has lost that battle but that is not what the story represents. This story clearly states how unequal women are to men and shows that through the “repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow [wallpaper]. “
The main character’s husband takes her away to the hereditary estate. He chose this spot because there is nobody around and “[the wife] was to have perfect rest and all the air [she] could get.” John thinks that this house will be the best for her because he is a highly sought out physician and knows how to diagnose her so-called disease by shoving her in a room. Most women had this disease if they were not acting like a stay-at-home mom that does all the house chores and cooks. Anything a woman would do that the husband or society, at the time, did not think was women-like then one was considered to have this depression disorder. What happened to this narrator was very common in the older society but not to this extent. The question is who truly is to blame for her becoming hysterical? Is it society, John, or just the wallpaper in general?
Once they arrive in the house, the main character is basically locked away in the nursery for the rest of the story. This nursery had everything moved out of it besides the bars on the window and th...

... middle of paper ...

...spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper and you can’t put me back!” With the remaining pieces on the wall, it shows “there are still advances to be made in terms of true social and economic equality…” The ending of the book shows that women are getting closer to equal opportunities as men, but it is still a work in progress.

Works Cited
Ames, William. The Poet's Forum. 2009. (accessed January 31, 2014).
Gilman, Charlotte. "The Yellow Wallpaper." In An Introduction to Literature, by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto and William E Cain, 419-430. New York: Person Longman, 2006.
Guralnik, David B. Webster's New World Dictionary. Montevideo: William Collins, 1976.
Treichler, Paula A. "Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in "The Yellow Wallpaper"." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 1984: 61-77.

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