The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Within the rather disturbing short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gilman expresses an underlying tone of women’s suppression. The narrator lived life as normal, under the domestic ideology. Without the realization of what was occurring to women in that era. Throughout the story, the narrator began to realize the social norm was suppressing women and their “voice”. She began to act different from what society view on ideal females. The narrator found the source and reasoning to why the people in her household and other acquaintances acted in such a manner. After putting the puzzle pieces together, she came to accept the reality. During the 1800s, African Americans were given the right to vote in which it essentially signified that African American men were considered to be more valuable than women to America after 1870. Perkins creates the tone of suppression by providing broad statements of what a typical housewife would provide to the man of the household. She expresses the belittlement through her sickness and John, her husband. Chronologically as the short story progresses, she provides instances of where she poses a neutral standpoint of the suppression, a realization, the understanding, and then the acceptance of the problem.
In the beginning of the story, the narrator was oblivious to how the society portray women. She assumes that the way women were treated was normal among civilization. It did not seem out of the ordinary in her perspective. The time frame of the story was during the late 1800s or the early 1900s. This is when males or men, were considered more powerful than woman; in a social standing aspect. Her husband, John, is “… a physician of high standing…” (Gilman 317). This comes to ...


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...showing how the narrator accepts the way how society works.
In conclusion, the narrator started off as a patient with a simple nervous disorder, but after discovering the harsh reality, she strays away from the social norms. The result from her moving away from the community’s views on women, labeled her as a mental patient, who supposedly hallucinates frequently. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story made to portray women’s oppression during the late 1800s or early 1900s. Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses metaphors and other techniques to enhance the expression of women’s hardships. Throughout the short story, Gilman delivers occurrences of a neutral standpoint of suppression, a realization, the understanding, and then the acceptance of the main issue. Through the selection of characters, setting, and point of view, “The Yellow Wallpaper” expresses the women’s suppression.

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