Oppression Of Women In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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The “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a fictional autobiography that illustrates the isolation and oppression women faced during the late nineteenth century. The woman in the story who we later find out is named Jane, is portrayed as somebody who is approaching insanity while searching for some peace in her male dictated world. The author depicts the confinement and oppression of women by explaining the emotional imprisonment of Jane as well as her social and mental state as she tries to fit the role of a stereotypical wife. As the author continues characterizing Jane’s behaviors and actions, Gilman uses literary devices to help implicate the outcome of the story. John’s constant controlling and forced deprival of Jane’s basic …show more content…
Ideal beliefs suggested that a women’s place in a marriage was in the domain of the home. Women were taught to carry out roles such as being a wife and a mother. Negative images of women were portrayed if a woman tried to express herself in a way that was different than what was considered a social norm. Women were described as being developmentally immature and emotionally unstable if they tried to be who they wanted to be. If a husband was concerned with his wife’s mental condition, a physician would prescribe a “rest cure”, which requires strict bed rest and time alone to properly heal. Physicians with little knowledge of the inner structures of the female body, presented complicated theories arguing that the womb created hysteria and madness and was the source of women’s inferiority (Hudock 2). Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” describes this very situation by giving readers an insight into a woman’s life while she struggles for independence in a patriarchal …show more content…
When Jane and her family first arrive to the temporary house, she wonders about the mysterious house. John suggests that Jane sleeps in the attic room of the house but the room seemed more like a prison than a playroom. Jane describes some features of the room such as “the windows being barred for the little children” (Gilman 474). She also explains how “the immovable bed…is nailed down” (Gilman 477) and she starts to wonder why a child’s bed would be nailed to the floor. All these signs foreshadow that the house they are staying in was once a mental institution. Barth states that “the information that Jane offhandedly supplies readers in the story’s early stages- such as descriptions of the bars on the windows, the bite marks on the bed that is bolted to the floor, and her increasing lassitude- now can be reinterpreted as describing the true nature of where Jane has been staying: an asylum” (3). While Jane’s husband laughs at her assumptions, she is persistent in believing the house has a deeper meaning than she is being

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