Woman's Journey Into Insanity In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

798 Words 4 Pages
Revolt By Going Insane? Can you imagine living in a society where coping with any mental illness is dealt by locking you inside a small room with nothing inside and nothing to do? Unfortunately, that was the case for most women in the 1800s. In the story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator describes her experience with her mental illness and how she was forced inside a room that amplified her hysteria. Her story became a great novel that acknowledge women’s oppression in society and a piece of art that help engage the conversation for women empowerment. Rula Quawas wrote an article named “A New Woman’s Journey Into Insanity: Descent and Return in The Yellow Wall-Paper” where she argues that the mental illness …show more content…
“Despite the spread and popularity of the cult of true womanhood and domesticity, and in a tradition of protest and reform that was a basic dimension of American culture,… a significant number of American women not only refused to be diminished by the constraints of domesticity, propriety, and feminine virtue that paralyzed so many Victorian women but they expressed their grievances against sanctioned views of women and male authority and political power (Quawas, p. 36)” Even though women can take care of their home and spouses, women should not limit themselves to domestic duties. Quawas argues that “true womanhood [is] dysfunctional” and therefore Gilman is looking for an alternative to an idea forced by the oppressor. Quawas believes that Gilman creates the protagonist as a heroine who uses her mental instability as a way to challenge society’s treatment towards women. “Gilman presents the narrator’s insanity as a form of rebellion against the medical practice and the political policies and have kept women out of professions, denied them their political rights, and kept them under male control in the family of state (Quawas, p. 41).” According to Quawas, women repressed their anger towards men due to the lack of activities and resulted to going insane. Insanity was an innovative way for women to be defiant since they were confined to their

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