The Female Voice: Writing and Autonomy in Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Writing in a figurative sense provides a voice for the suppressed that may be restricted. In order to project the voice of the writer, the writer uses imagery and language techniques in order to allude to a certain point or opinion that may be deemed controversial. This is shown within the Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as it uses of these techniques to provide a more powerful voice for the female writer. The text follows Bahktin’s ideas of “discourse within the novel” as although it is diary form, it uses “internal stratification” as it voices three different opinions – John and Jennie’s disapproval, and the narrator’s urge for freedom. It provides a voice for the character that would have been considered as having a lower …show more content…
The graphology of the adverb “perhaps” provides emphasis and reflects her mischievous thoughts that she normally suppresses verbally. However “perhaps” is an insincere word, which shows the fact that she is dabbling in controversial, less outspoken thoughts which makes her nervous. This relates to the question of disobedience raised from Foucaultian ideas of conforming to discursive regimes - “Can literature be used as a sign of disobedience to break from hierarchal dominance and discipline?” I feel that it can, with the “The Yellow Wall-paper” acting as a prime example as the narrator demonstrates this exact disobedience as she is unleashing her freedom through the form of writing. Gilman’s liberating form of writing does this by breaking away from female acceptance of a patriarchal society and challenges it. She raises a controversial point, questioning society’s norms by highlighting women’s difficulty in exerting strength in a male dominated world: “He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fantasies” (Golman 134.) The noun “power” reflects John’s awareness of her strong writing ability and freedom that causes the narrator to rise up from her suppression. John recognises the relationship between power and expression and as a result, attempts to remove it. This is

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