Of the three aspects of freedom to be discussed, freedom in the physical sense is the easiest for the reader to pick up. At the beginning of the story, the narrator is trapped in a world where her husband treats her like a child even though the narrator herself is mature enough to give birth. After the birth of her son, she feels trapped. The narrator needs to be freed from her feelings of inferiority and subconscious claustrophobia that her husband has intensified by leaving her in a form of solitary confinement. She craves communicat...
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...roved herself more powerful than John, and she is symbolically free from his reign.
Ann Petry, the writer of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” wrote this short story as an act of defiance against societal customs for women of the late 1800’s. One scholar writes, “Gilman was ahead of her own time… she defied cultural stereotypes… and planted her feminist ideas in her own writings to enlarge the woman’s sense of what was possible” (Quawas 2-3). In this story, which contains the feministic values Petry proclaimed, the story of a woman yearning from freedom from her suffocating nineteenth century role as a wife and mother. She struggles against traditional male values of power, eventually reaching emotional liberation in the end. This story provides a crucial insight into the disastrous results of a woman who has crumbled mentally and physically because of her lack of freedom.
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