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"The Yellow Wallpaper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman And And "The Story Of An Hour" By Kate Chopin

1325 words - 5 pages

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin presents two women, Louise and Charlotte, who tries to overcome their controlling husbands to achieve individual freedom. The stories were both feminist. Webster's dictionary defines feminism as the belief that women should have economic, political, and social equality with men. In these two stories, the women fight for social equality with men as they struggle to have the freedom to do what they want.In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the narrator suffers from a mental disorder, instead of helping her recover, he refuses to acknowledge her problem. "John is a physician, and perhaps--(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind) - perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster. You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do? If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency - what is one to do? My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing" (Gilman 431). It is frustrating to the narrator to have her husband and brother to dismiss her illness as a mere temporary condition. "It is a false and foolish fancy"(Gilman 437). He believes that putting her in confinement would cure her problem, but he does not even understand her illness. He is a physician, so he only understands physical illnesses. Yet he jumps to the conclusion that she has no sickness, and she has to accept it, because he is a man of high standing.This assumption does not help her sickness, in fact, Jane, the narrator believes that it's the reason why she cannot get better. But it is pointless for her to argue, since her brother, also a physician of high standings affirms the diagnosis. She is not allowed to have her opinion, it is dismissed as soon as it is said. She feels guilty to even think her husband is wrong about her sickness, as she "take pains to control myself - before him at least, and that makes me very tired." (Gilman 432). Jane has her opinions, but to no avail, she has to take her husband's orders.The story goes on to show the control the husband has over Jane and her daily activities. He puts her in a house, allowing no visitors, "work" or any form of excitement that may harm her health. He controls her daily schedule. "I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more." (Gilman 432). He takes control of every aspect of her life, including her desire to write. This only makes her situation worse. "Personally I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do? I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal - having to be so sly...

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