Wife Subordination Depicted In Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

619 words - 2 pages

The Yellow Wallpaper
The story of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is

a story that reflects the subordination of woman in marriage. By the time of the early

nineteenth century, it was very difficult for women to express their desire because the

men always dominated them. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, who suffers from

her depression, is always under her husband’s control. She can’t do what she expects,

even in her writing. Although her husband seems to love her, he doesn’t understand what

she needs inside her heart. The repression of her emotions finally makes her mentally


The narrator is being completely controlled by her husband. At the beginning of

the story, the narrator’s husband takes her to the country house isolated from the society

for her cure. Because John, her husband who is a physician with extreme opinions

thinks she can have enough rest in order to recover from her “temporary nervous

depression”. However, John restricts her behavior as part of her treatment. She is

“absolutely forbidden to work”. Any of her suggestions always meet with his objection,

even writing a word. She can’t feel any acceptance from her husband so that it always

“makes [her] feel bad.” Furthermore, she is not allowed to change her room. “John does

not know how much [she] really suffers. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that

satisfies him”. It is like she is in prison without freedom.

Although her husband seems to be very careful for her illness, he doesn’t

completely understand what this negative treatment is doing to her. She is just like a child

taking orders from her parent without any opposition. John pretends to be a kind and

loving parent calling her “a blessed little goose” so that she becomes a docile child to ...

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