This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Repression Of Women In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1209 words - 5 pages

The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is an account of a repressed woman in the late eighteen hundreds. This story allows the reader to confront the issues that plagued nineteenth century society in which women suffered because of their mental weaknesses. It is this mental weakness which ultimately leads to her downfall.
The narrator is afflicted with temporary nervous depression. She makes it evident that this affliction is due to her repression by her husband, John. He has total control over her thoughts and feelings, her health, and over her life. He does not take her seriously and laughs at her but, in this society, “one expects that”. (Gilman 1) He controls every aspect of her life. He forces her to stay in a room which she despises, and consequently, drives her insane. Gilman builds up the story to convey her feelings of the repercussions a woman faces in total supervision and domination by a man. She follows her husband’s counsel of total bed rest, but deep within her, she knows this will be her destruction. However, as characteristic of a woman of this time period, she obediently accommodates the demands of the man. This leaves her no choice, but to subject herself to the anguish of being totally alone in a room with ghastly yellow wallpaper.
She stares at the wallpaper all day and all night because of her insomnia, and she ultimately determines that “Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern.” (Gilman 11) In time, the image appears clearer to the narrator. The wallpaper becomes more understandable to her, and she finally determines, “...and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars.” (Gilman 13) The woman in the wallpaper is trapped by bars, just as there are bars on the narrator’s windows. This is the first similarity she shares with the lady in the wallpaper. The narrator, with nothing else to do, is left to stare infinitely at a pattern in the wallpaper and forces herself to make meaning of what she sees. Perhaps this is to save her sanity, or perhaps her sanity is too far gone. She determines that the image is a woman trying to free herself from behind bars and begins to relate to the woman in the wallpaper.
She continues to attempt to liberate this woman. The narrator wants to free the woman but the wallpaper holds her back. Similarly, the narrator wants to be free, and her husband holds her back. The woman in the wallpaper has become her sanity. “I don’t want to go out, and I don’t want to have anybody come in, till John comes. I want to astonish him. I’ve got a rope up here that even Jennie did not find. If that woman does get out, and tries to get away, I can tie her!” (Gilman, 17-18) She wants to harness the woman, just as she wants to harness her...

Find Another Essay On The Repression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Oppression of Women Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1287 words - 5 pages Prior to the early twentieth century men dictated women’s role in society. Charlotte Gilman uses her novella “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) as a symbolic reflection of oppression of women in a paternalistic society. Her novella challenges the idea of women being depicted as weak and fragile. The narrator’s name is unknown through out the story, yet at the beginning the reader is given her husbands’ name (John), and the narrator’s identity through

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

903 words - 4 pages : Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, many will not forget the challenges women faced. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, portrays a woman suffering from a mild psychological disorder, known today as Postpartum Depression. The title of the story is befitting as it shows the psychological oppression the main character, whose name was never revealed, dealt with from her husband and the controversial

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1406 words - 6 pages Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper in 1890 about her experience in a psychiatric hospital. The doctor she had prescribed her “the rest cure” to get over her condition (Beekman). Gilman included the name of the sanitarium she stayed at in the piece as well which was named after the doctor that “treated” her. The short story was a more exaggerated version of her month long stay at Weir Mitchell and is about a woman whose name is

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1291 words - 6 pages depression on her likely already frail mental state triggered her psychosis. The role of woman in society at the turn of the century, along with the medical establishment’s lack of understanding regarding mental illness, allowed Jane’s mental issues to go untreated, resulting in the breakdown we see in the story. Works Cited Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Walpaper." The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter Eleventh Edition. New York

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1378 words - 6 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Turned” are both short stories by the American author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, written in the late nineteenth century. Both stories are based on a particular incident in the lives of two married women. “The Yellow Wallpaper” follows an unidentified woman who is possibly suffering from postpartum psychosis. She is put to “rest cure” by her physician husband and is locked inside a room covered in yellow wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1531 words - 6 pages During the time when Gilman was growing up, women had defined domestic roles and their husbands were the dominating force. In turn, there were women who gained a voice and defied the oppressive male community; one of those voices being Gilman’s. Locked away in a mental and physical prison of her husband’s machination, the protagonist of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is the embodiment of the struggles faced by women seeking

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1744 words - 7 pages of a woman's insanity. It tells how women were disregarded at times and treated like frail children at others. Ultimately, Jane realized that she held control over her own life. It was her responsibility to relieve her stress and tell her story. This is a story of seclusion and escape. "The Yellow Wallpaper," being highly autobiographical for Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was written shortly after her own nervous breakdown

Differing Perspectives of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1222 words - 5 pages The Hidden Meaning Before the 20th century, women were discriminated against by men in their jobs and freedom. Both men and women had different opinions and perspectives toward women in society during the 19th century. “The Yellow Wallpaper” published in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a prominent American feminist, wrote short stories from a woman’s perspective. The narrator of the “The Yellow Wallpaper” begins the story by describing the

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1252 words - 6 pages happen, she felt that she was in control when John fainted at the end; she says "now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall so that I had to creep over him every time" She wasn’t even frighten when he fainted. Self-expression is extremely important because each one of us is unique and different in our own way. Only we can define ourselves be who want to be. One might believe that “The Yellow Wallpaper

Feminism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

735 words - 3 pages women were during the narrator’s time. The narrator stated, “Then he took me in his arms and called me a blessed little goose” (Gilman 802). John spoke of her as if she was a child. Men did not see woman as an equal. In the case of the narrator, she was controlled by her husband’s words and many other factors. The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is considered a feminist piece through the narrators husband’s words and

Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1189 words - 5 pages Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman      Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the journal of a woman plagued with severe depression and the inability to recover due to her role as a submissive woman. At the time of publication, "The Yellow Wallpaper" was seen as a story merely about the perils of insanity. Even Gilman was proud to say it provided a wake-up call for the medical field and the families

Similar Essays

Oppression And Repression In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1075 words - 5 pages In “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator’s oppression and repression are strictly based on gender role and marriage. The women we see in the story are meant to find fulfillment in the home, while her physician husband has trapped her in the room all day and give her little contact with the outside world. It shows disrespect for women in marriage. Maybe if her physician husband understands her more, she

Oppression And Repression In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1105 words - 5 pages In "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator's oppression and repression are strictly based on gender role and marriage. As we can see the women in the story are meant to find fulfillment in the home, but her physician husband has trapped her in her room all day and all night and give her a little opportunity to contact with the outside world. It shows disrespect for women in marriage. Maybe if her

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1376 words - 6 pages sick and that they knew it. The narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper is one of the best examples of this self-oppression and oppression by men. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a strong advocate for alternative methods of treating mental illness. Many of her suggested methods mirror the psychiatric therapies of today’s Works Cited Diagnostic and Statistical Manual . 4 th ed. Text Revision. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2000

"The Yellow Wallpaper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

773 words - 3 pages society.Although, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is not a ghost story, however, Gilman writes this story similarly to a ghost story because of the narrative form used. The narrator is a woman living in the eighteenth century when women were oppressed in a masculine world. Gilman, however, attempt to modify the male dominated society by having the narrator describe her transformation; the narrator's transformation takes place in the house where she makes the connection between her life, the house, the window, and the yellow wallpaper.Works CitedGilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Yellow Wallpaper and OtherStories. Mineola, NY: Dover, 1997. 1-15.