The Oppressed Gender Essay

841 words - 4 pages

Imagine if you were a woman in nineteenth century America, what do you think life would be like? The obvious answer is that one would be subjected to being a housewife and only a housewife, but there was something else that went far beneath this surface oppression. For women, the nineteenth century was a dark period. Not only were they thought of as glorified maids, but they were also greatly oppressed and subjected to the rule of man. At this time, women weren’t allowed to vote and it was socially unacceptable for a woman to do much without the proper consent of her husband or father. In the story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the reader explores the idea of how deeply ...view middle of the document...

But what is one to do?” (Gilman, 648). The narrator resigns herself to the idea that what her husband says goes, even if that means giving up a piece of her sanity to do so. The narrator is greatly oppressed be her husband, and by letting it happen, she loses a piece of herself in the process.
As the story progresses, the reader learns more about the narrator, John and their life. For one thing, the narrator briefly mentions having a son, and then says that she does not see him often. This last part is per the instructions of her physician, John, who believes that the baby would be too much excitement for her fragile mind. This says a lot about the narrator and John’s relationship. This statement can lead one to believe that John thinks his infant child, a boy, is more intellectually stimulating than his mother, a grown woman. John does not believe his wife is capable enough to do much, and he shows this time and time again. “When I get really well, John says we will ask Cousin Henry and Julia down for a long visit; but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillowcase as to let me have those stimulating people about now,” (Gilman, 649). This excerpt shows just what John thinks of his wife; a frail, little girl in need of protection. Because of how he treats her, the narrator is more of a pet to John than...

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