Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper And The Story Of An Hour

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Jessica Garcia Mrs. Kehrmeyer AP English Lang 14 November 2016 Feminist Analysis Paper Feminism has changed throughout the years, starting from the very beginning of humans to today’s modern society. Patriarchy has always existed among societies, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. The role of women has always been to be the birth giver, mother, and a wife. Feminist, as expressed by Donald Hall in his book Literary and Cultural Theory, is the advocacy of women’s rights by economic, social and political equality to men. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, the protagonists share similar experiences living under patriarchal demands and the demands of society. Both women are …show more content…
The authors portray the patriarchal oppression of these women through their stream of consciousness. The main characters reflect the oppression which has had an impact on women’s ability to express themselves, their cultural roles, their resistance to patriarchal oppression, and their recognition. According to Hall, language, institutions, and social power have shown patriarchal interest which has limited the ability of women to express themselves throughout history. He explains how some women do not even realize they are living under patriarchal oppression because a lot of times the oppression is not seen as that, but instead it is the way things are just supposed to be and how they have always been. This idea is expressed in many pieces of literature such as those previously mentioned. In an article written by William Veeder titled “Who is Jane? The intricate Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman”, this idea is supported by stating how in Chopin’s The Yellow Wallpaper, the main character was unable to express herself because of her husband who believed she was merely …show more content…
Edna responded to patriarchal restrictions by refusing to behave the way society expected her to. She went against all traditional beliefs and customs of a woman of her time. In an article by Peter Ramos titled “Unbearable Realism: freedom, ethics and identity in The Awakening” argues “Edna Pontellier’s final actions represent either the mythical triumph of self over a restrictive patriarchy, or, contrarily, the tragic, inevitable defeat of a woman striving to combine motherhood with personhood.” The author also argues that all of Edna’s actions reflect the danger of refusing to stick to the way she is supposed to do things. Edna’s stream of consciousness reveals how she in fact realizes the oppression she is living under. These findings have important consequences for the broader domain of how patriarchy affects women’s daily lives and how they resist it both openly and discreetly, making changes only in their own

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