The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written in 1892, is a short story told from the perspective of a woman believed to be “crazy”. The narrator believes her craziness to be a form of sickness. However, the narrator’s husband, John, believes her to be suffering from a temporary nervous depression. As the narrator’s condition worsens, she begins to see a woman moving from behind the yellow wallpaper in her (WC) bedroom. The wallpaper captures the narrator’s attention and, as a result, drives her mad. Gilman incorporates a lot of personal experiences into the short story. Through Gilman’s feminist views and her personal opinions, “The Yellow Wallpaper” becomes a short story written from a feminist and semi-autobiographical standpoint. Gilman’s use of specific elements, like feminist symbolism and first person narrative, (elaborated) helps the reader analyze and understand the issues women of this time period faced (WC). During the late nineteenth century, women looked to dismantle the barriers that separated men and women’s rights, causing a great surge in women activists. These women wanted equal rights, both socially and politically. In 1848, men and women gathered at the Seneca Falls Convention to come together to fight for the equality of women. At the Seneca Falls Convention, the “Declaration of Sentiments” was written. This document listed all the injustices done to women, politically, socially and economically. In 1890, (PV) the National American Women Suffrage Association formed and worked towards their goal of creating an amendment for women suffrage. “The Yellow Wallpaper” has a direct correlation with Gilman’s own societal role during this era. The narrator, who is never named, is depicted as a woman who... ... middle of paper ... ...t and ultimately making the narrator’s husband faint as she steps over him. The imagery depicted here illustrates women triumphing over male dominance. Charlotte Gilman was able to express her feminist views through “The Yellow Wallpaper” because of it being written during the surge of nineteenth century feminism. “The Yellow Wallpaper” has a remarkable amount of symbolism and ambiguous meanings. These symbols show Gilman’s perspective on women’s roles in their marriages and how Gilman believed strongly in social, economic and political equality. In Gilman’s life, as well as in the narrator’s life, the reader can see many conflicts that occur, from inner conflicts of depression to external conflicts with society and their social norms. Gilman’s creative way of expressing these conflicts in “The Yellow Wallpaper” provides a powerful view of the culture of that time.
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