The Yellow Wallpaper By Edgar Allen Poe And Charlotte Bronte

The Yellow Wallpaper By Edgar Allen Poe And Charlotte Bronte

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When the story was first released to the public in 1892 critics saw “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a ghost story where the female was haunted or possessed as the story went on instead of a story that criticized society 's role for women. Suzanne Owens suggests that Gilman wrote the “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a ghost story because she was influenced by the gothic writings of Edgar Allen Poe and Charlotte Brontë (172). I agree that Edgar Allen Poe and Charlotte Brontë influenced Gilman because they were huge writers during the 19th century but I see Gilman writing “The Yellow Wallpaper” simply as a protest against the male-dominated society that she lived in. Throughout her prolific writing career, she produced works in forms of novels, essays, poems etc., and each of these works had the same theme behind them, which was a feminist theme. For example, Gilman’s book Woman and Economics presents the idea that women can be fully independent when they have economic. Another example would be her book entitled Herland, which is about a women only utopian world where three men discover it is a perfect society. Another prime example of Gilman’s feminist theme throughout her works is her magazine The Forerunner because the focus of the magazine was to inform people about liberating women giving them independence socially and economically. Therefore, it would not make sense for Gilman to go off track to write of ghost story when she established a mission to change society views through her writing. Owens makes another claim that narrator in the story is suffering from a ghost haunting that is in the wallpaper which eventually leads to the ghost taking over her body (174). However, I argue that, on the contrary, it suggests that the wallpaper is act...

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...lman actually describing her hate through the narrator towards a male-dominate society. As the story goes on the narrator’s hate for the wallpaper grows and grows. At the end of the story, the narrator rips away at the yellow wallpaper to release the “woman” behind the paper. Although the narrator saw a woman behind the wallpaper, she was actually freeing herself. This tells us that she no longer worries about what John thinks nor does his fainting discourage her. She is on the path to true womanhood. Gilman writes, “I 've pulled off most of the paper, so you can 't put me back!” (9). The reader can see the wallpaper as a male-dominated society so when the narrator rips the paper that means she is breaking free from society norms. The narrator finally establishes herself as a free independent woman who will not bow to no man nor a society that praises them as kings.

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