Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper

Improved Essays
A Woman’s Journey into Insanity in Relation to Feminism The Yellow Wallpaper is a short fiction, written by Charlotte Gilman; an American author who was born in Hartford, and who suffered from a lonely childhood due to her father’s abandonment. She worked as an art teacher and married the artist Charles Stetson, who turned her married life into a nightmare full of sadness and gloom. Her depression and illness came after giving birth to her daughter. Gilman committed suicide later, after she discovered that she had a deadly illness. Gilman’s work in the Yellow Wallpaper conveyed the miserable life of a married woman, a life very similar to her own. Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper which mirrored what she had been through her entire life. …show more content…
Gilman has written this story in purpose to share her own struggle with the world in urging the community to cooperate with the women society, in giving them the right and the freedom they want. Through the story the narrator describes her own journey that led her to insanity and her obsession with the wallpaper of her sanitarium, and ends with seeing a woman "crawling" (Gilman 486) behind the "bars" (Gilman 487) of the prisonlike pattern. Her attempts to free the woman behind the wallpaper as "trying to purge her of her color, to peel her from the yellow paper, so that the narrator can accept this woman as herself."(Nadkarni 223) The yellow wallpaper represented women in the 19th century where their own right are controlled under men’s authority. The narrator saw herself as she is a part of “the wallpaper and that the wallpaper is part of her.” Therefore, by freeing the woman, the narrator will not only have her sanity back, but also she will be able to liberate all women of her …show more content…
The story reflects the role of woman back then and somehow urges the new generation to not have the same experience, and that was represented clearly through the wallpaper and the relationship between the narrator and the woman behind the wallpaper. Also, the choice of color plays an important role in the advancement of the character’s illness that affects it left on her psychologically. Hence, the yellow wallpaper is a well written story that represents women’s struggle at Gilman’s period of time, which also allowed her to express her point of view towards the unfairness of what was happening to the woman’s society in terms of a social and psychological

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman had a husband named Charles Stetson and a daughter Katharine. After the birth of her daughter Katharine, Gilman became overwhelmed with depression. Gilman then goes to receive treatment from Dr. Silas Weir who was mention in the book. His technique ultimately fails and causes her depression to deepen. Gilman then divorces her husband and sends her daughter to live with him.…

    • 1495 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this time, there was a certain role that women played and it was set. The chosen narrative technique allows the audience to follow the narrator’s thoughts and feelings of oppression and increasing insanity. Through symbolism, Gilman showed that marriage and societal norms trapped women in roles that they had no choice but to play. They were inferior to men and had to be submissive to their authority. Women needed radical change – they needed to get out from behind the wallpaper and be…

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Vast catastrophe of one’s life “The Yellow wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkin is a journal an entry written by a woman who becomes obsessed by the wallpaper because her husband has confined her to the bedroom of a house. The narrator uses symbols to demonstrate the oppression of women by men and the struggle for equality during the 1800s. Also, these three symbols show the women’s imprisonment, inevitable madness, and isolation that end in despair. First of all, the yellow wallpaper itself is one of the significant symbol that represents the woman’s mind during this era and demonstrates the isolation and imprisonment that the women had to experience. This period is when women were forced to depend on males and cannot make any decisions.…

    • 1408 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This relates to those who use “women” and “insanity” together because the women are described as rebels whom madness is nothing more than a description that applies to the gender norms in society. Society doesn’t view insanity as a desperate communication for the powerless but views it more as a form of rebellion against confinement. The fact that the narrator peeled the wallpaper away in search of the woman trapped inside is deeply symbolic and gives the reader a sense of how she feels about society confining her. The narrator says, “I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back” (pg.…

    • 1165 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The wife is diagnosed with nervous depression and is automatically restricted to bed rest and isolation prescribed by her husband. This type of depression can come from many different things but reading the story you may conclude it came from her having a child as many women become depressed after having a baby. John begs his wife “for our child’s sake” (Stetson 652), makes one believe that her sickness is effecting the child. Gradually through the story she goes from needing interactions with society, to becoming one with the wallpaper. After freeing the woman from the paper she exclaims “I’ve got out at last,” her proclaiming this made it seem as though she is the woman in the paper.…

    • 1092 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    As the narrator begins to descend into madness, her need to escape from control over her life shifts from her husband to the figure behind the paper. The attempt to rescue the woman behind the paper becomes the narrators main objective in life and is a symbol for her oppression and confinement. The attempt of the narrator to rescue the woman from the wallpaper represents how futile it was for woman to attempt to protest the rest cure. Because woman had such an infantile position in society, they were unable to protest how much pain the rest cure caused them. In the same way, as much paper as the narrator was able to tare off the wall, she was unable to free the woman behind the wallpaper.…

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin focus on women in the era of 19th century. “The Yellow Wallpaper” describes an unnamed female (the narrator) who begins to suffer from a postpartum disease and is confined to a room with a strange wallpaper. This odd wallpaper symbolizes the complexity and confusion in her life. In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard must also deal with conflict as she must deal with the death of her husband. At first there is grief but then leads to the recognition that she will be set free.…

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    At first it seems unpleasant, being ripped and dirty; it fits in with the gothic theme of the house. Gilman does a great job expressing how the wallpaper symbolizes women’s subordination. The woman in the wallpaper is first a symbol for all women who are trapped by society. When the narrator becomes the woman, she is then symbolizing her own freedom from society and her marriage. It is ironic how the narrator had to completely lose herself in order to understand herself.…

    • 717 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper” www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/theliteratureofprescript ion/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall- Paper.pdf The Yellow Wallpaper" is a semi-autobiographical short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in which a mentally ill woman suffers at the hands of males in a position of power who refuses to take her struggles seriously. In this story, the protagonist, Jane suffers from depression following childbirth. Her husband…

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” is an important symbol used in the story by Gilman to illustrate Jane’s mind. The color “Yellow” is often associated with fear, illness, and anxiety. In the story, one can see that she is literally suffering from a sickness but she is also pointing to the sickness of the society’s view of women. This illustrates how women were looked down upon as weak individuals in the society. Another symbol used in the story to describe how women were treated or seen in the society is the description of the room and how it resembles a nursery.…

    • 835 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays