The Yellow Wallpaper Trifles And A Doll's House Essay

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What connects “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Trifles, and A Doll’s House is the underlying feminist overtones. Throughout all three pieces the status of women is a major underlying point that drives the stories. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the status of women drives the narrator into a state of psychosis, In Trifles the status of women, paradoxically, is what allows the murder to be solved (and covered up), and in A Doll’s House the status of women, along with a general statement of the human condition, is critiqued by highlighting patriarchal marriage, sexist laws, and gendered expectations. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” though originally not thought of as feminist literature, was later “rediscovered” and interpreted to be a striking condemnation of the …show more content…
The extent of the criticism even reaches the narrator’s husband, a doctor, who is held responsible for his wife’s eventual descent into a state of madness caused by his own prescription of the resting cure. Each time that the narrator defies her husband’s wishes (which he views as knowing what is best for his wife), such actions are chastised as being irresponsible for the narrator’s expected return to complete mental health. The use of a patriarchal marriage to highlight sexism is also employed by the playwright of A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen portrays the Helmer’s relationship as patriarchal, in which Nora can only hope to receive what she desires by acting child-like and innocent. Both women’s marriages lead to an eventual turning point. In “The Yellow Paper,” it is an evolutionary one, where she begins to slowly hallucinate and later becomes convinced that she is a woman who has escaped her prison from within the wallpaper (a nod to the “prison” of women’s gendered expectations). In …show more content…
While Trifles critiqued marriage, as did A Doll’s House, “The Yellow Wallpaper” goes beyond just finding flaws in perceived gendered expectations in marriage, it condemns what it sees as destructive and sexist treatment of women in the field of medicine. The narrator’s descent into madness is caused by her husband, but her husband is only responsible for her condition because he does not know any better. What the doctor/husband perceives as what is in her best interest is the very thing that causes her breakdown. The doctor represents not only himself, but all men in the field of medicine who have refused to listen to women, and instead have placed treatments upon women that they ignorantly view as beneficial. Gilman uses her story as a hyperbolic example of why women’s opinions should be taken into consideration in their own

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