The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

807 Words Oct 25th, 2014 4 Pages
Throughout human time, women have been oppressed by society. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, the first-person narrative vividly describes the struggles of a nineteenth-century woman suffering with a mental illness and her decent into a mind-numbing insanity. The narrator’s madness is ultimately caused by the oppressive structures of society that woman in the nineteenth-century faced. Her marriage to her husband leaves the narrator confined to typical nineteenth-century gender roles and ultimately keeps her from recovering from her depression. Additionally, the narrator is deprived from any forms of self-expression and mental exercise, supposedly to aid her recovery. Ultimately, the main cause for the narrator’s insanity can be contributed to the rest cure, forcing her to be confined to the nursery and stuck with her own thoughts. Perkins Gilman’s depiction of traditional nineteenth-century middle-class marriages is seen through the narrator’s role in her marriage. During this era, the wives took on the role as the homemaker while the husbands went out and worked. Due to this, the wives were kept in a childlike state of ignorance and could not develop to their full potentials because of their husbands. For instance, the narrator’s husband, John, constantly assumes superiority over the narrator, which causes him to misjudge and patronize her, all while attempting to “help her”. Consequently, the narrator is unable to stand up for herself without the…

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