What Is Feminism In The Yellow Wallpaper

1001 Words 5 Pages
In the late 1800’s, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a short story that caused quite an uproar in the public with many mixed reviews. In 1848, the first gathering of women was held to call forth equal treatment for both men and women. For many decades later, feminists had gathered together to spark a change in the work force, suffrage and basic health rights. When Gilman released her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, she firmly stated that “it was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from driven crazy, and it worked.” (Gilman 53). Gilman was also known for being a feminist, and in her story, she speaks through the narrator, Jane; how little control she had over her treatment simply because of her gender. When her story …show more content…
Although, she did state that she “wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, with its embellishments” to high extremes to obtain the unattainable. After writing her story, Gilman had sent a copy to her physician who treated her, named S. Weir Mitchell; Gilman also includes Mitchell in the story speaking through the narrator with “John says if I don’t pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don’t want to go there at all. I had a friend who was in his hands once, and she says he is just like John and brother, only more so!” Talking ill against this highly acclaimed medical doctor was an important detail as Gilman clearly wasn’t taken seriously from the beginning. Literature professor, Jane F. Thrailkill wrote in her Doctoring: The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman first reached out to Dr. Mitchell for help—writing out a list of her symptoms that she had experienced through the last three years. Mitchell said that he found her list “utterly useless”, also claiming that “she should imagine her observations would be of any interest to him was but an indication of her self-conceit” (Thrailkill 3). Mitchell immediately takes the position that he’s in a higher ranking by saying Gilman “should imagine”- she could …show more content…
All throughout Jane’s journal, she speaks with quiet language; speaking on “dead paper” that she is thankful to have for a release of her inner thoughts. Not only does John discourage her from using her imagination and cognitive thoughts, he seems to believe that no matter how drastic they get, they shouldn’t interrupt the treatment. One could say that Jane was stuck between a rock and a hard place as Jane lived in a time of “patriarchal texts [and] paternal houses” (Haney-Peritz)—she was in a male dominated world. Despite John’s treatment, Jane writes ‘in spite of him” although writing drains her energy very quickly [which is to be expected when her days are filled with nothing], the more she writes within her treatment, you can signify that John is trapping her inside with her treatment—or so creating the “woman” in the wallpaper. By inducing Jane to such conditions, he is creating this second version of John whether is aware of it or not. By the end of the story when John has found Jane after her supposed breakdown in the master bedroom, he faints after shortly finding her “creep” around the bedroom. One could assume that he fainted from seeing what he has created from the failed treatment, especially with a close relationship to a patient since he is the

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