Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Portrayal Of Women

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For years, young girls and women around the world have been deemed as the lesser of the two genders: whether it is by society, the media, or their own husbands and fathers. Today, one of the most talked about and quite controversial topics has been feminism, or the idea that women should be seen as equals in the work field, the home, and all other aspects of life. In the short story The Yellow Wallpaper, written by novelist, sociologist and self-proclaimed feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the 1800’s, Perkin’s shows strong evidence of the degradation of women in that time, which reflects on how women are viewed in our modern day society as well. The main character of this chilling short story is a woman who is diagnosed by her husband John, …show more content…
She claims that she is sick in the mind and he claims that whatever she is feeling is only temporary, and confines her to the room to help her. The protagonist states, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency- what is one to do?” This part of the story is very reflective of today’s view of women. This implies that because this man is her husband and a doctor, he knows what is wrong with her and how she is feeling better than she does. Large amounts of women today that are in controlling, and even abusive, relationships feel as though they don’t have a say in how they live their life. Many women feel powerless and weak in their homes, which is a big part of the feminism movement: empowering women in all areas. When the narrator attempts to perform daily activities such as writing or being with her child, she is shut down and sent back to the room or her husband becomes upset with her, deeming her irrational for wanting to do activities that she enjoys instead of activities her husband found therapeutic. Many men, and even some women, feel as though the woman’s role is to stay home to cook, clean, and care for the children as the husband goes to work …show more content…
At first she hated being trapped in the room, then she comes to obsess and spend all of her time there. She wants to “free the woman”, and by doing so she rips all of the paper off of the wall and when her husband finds her amongst the mess, he faints from fear that she has lost her mind, his biggest worry for her. From the pro-feminism viewpoint, some would see this as a symbol of the freedom she feels, not only from freeing the “woman behind the bars”, but also by freeing herself. She felt so trapped in the yellow room until she made herself to believe it was a better reality. The woman behind the bars in the shadow is a reflection of her in her marriage, trapped and in the shadows of her husband with no voice or say in her life. Many women feel this way in our modern society, in the shadow of men and lesser because of their gender. Feminism is a work in progress to help the world view women as independent, strong minded equals, and maybe if feminism were around in the eighteenth century, this woman wouldn’t have felt as crazy as she was made out to be. After all, she was living in a man’s world, how could she not be a little

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