Charlotte Perkin Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

2176 Words Mar 10th, 2016 9 Pages
Characters in every story obviously play a huge part in the development of other characters and of the plot itself; in Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, her characters especially play major roles in the evolution of Gilman’s story. Each represents an aspect of the kind of society that the narrator lived in during this time and they all gave the main character expectations for herself that she felt she needed to live up to to become a good wife or even a good woman. Furthermore, those characters and even their expectations led to the worsening of the narrator’s depression and some even helped prod her into that final descent into insanity. This story took place during a time when a wife epitomized the term “submissive”. Wives lived for their husbands first and foremost, their children second, and never themselves. The narrator was constantly faced with these views about women and the characters in The Yellow Wallpaper made her know she was not being a proper wife throughout the story; this would have broke down any woman, knowing that she wasn’t being the person society, and even her husband, expected of her. Gilman very successfully spoke out against the social ills of her time by using this extreme characters and the even more extreme case of the narrator’s society helping lead her into madness. Throughout the story, the narrator gives readers insight into the extremely condescending John, her husband. “ . . . but John says the very worst thing I can do is…

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