Womans Issues And The Yellow Wallpaper.

1582 words - 6 pages

Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story that deals with many different issues that woman in the 19th century had to deal with on a daily basis. Some of these issues were within their control, but many of them were outside of the realm of control for women. The main point that I will focus on is how restricted societal roles can cause insanity. I will do this by deciphering the meaning of the "yellow wallpaper" and its symbolism. In my opinion, I believe that once we get a better understanding of the author's interest in this subject area and get a feel for life in the 19th century, then we will have a better understanding of the story.First, let's take a look at the background of Gilman before and after she wrote The Yellow Wallpaper. Gilman lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and she definitely had her fair share of troubles. Her biggest struggle in life was living within the constraints of a society that put women in a class apart from everyone else; when in her heart she felt that she was an equal counterpart to men. She suffered depression from this problem for many years, until finally she was seem by a world-famous neurologist, Dr. Weir Mitchell, who simply prescribed her with rest. This "rest period" sent her into an even deeper state of depression, which she didn't come out of until she tried to resume her normal life, along with joining the American Woman Suffrage Association as a writer and active participant. Unfortunately, Gilman's life got so bad that her condition got worse and she fell to the insanity level, eventually causing her to commit suicide with chloroform.Now that we have a little background on the author, we can take a closer look at the actual work and its characters. The two main characters of the story a narrator and her husband, John, and the story takes place in the 19th century. Life for the two is like most other marriages in this time frame, only the narrator is not like most other wives. She has this inner desire to be free from the societal roles that confine her and to focus on her writing, while John in content with his life and thinks that his wife overreacts to everything. Traditionally, in this era, the man was responsible for taking care of the woman both financially and emotionally, while the woman was solely responsible for remaining at home. This was a trap that prevented both women and men from developing emotionally and acquiring self-individualism.The story begins with the husband and wife moving into their summer home right after having their first child. The wife has a funny feeling about it stating that it is "something queer about it" (Gilman 658), but John thinks that she is being too suspicious. She is sick in the sense that she is suffering from depression, but John, being a physician, thinks that she is fine and that she will be all right soon. The room that they move into is what used to be a nursery and this is where the drama really begins.The narrator describes the...

Find Another Essay On Womans Issues and the Yellow Wallpaper.

The Yellow Wallpaper

2519 words - 10 pages The Yellow Wallpaper In 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The story is written in first person narrative in the form of twelve journal entries as if the reader is reading the author’s actual journal. This style allows the reader to understand what the narrator is experiencing. It centers on a young woman who, after having a baby, does not savor the roles of wife and mother. So, she is diagnosed with a nervous

The yellow wallpaper

627 words - 3 pages      The plot of “The Yellow Wallpaper” comes from a moderation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal experience. In 1887, just two years after the birth of her first child, Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell diagnosed Gilman with neurasthenia, an emotional disorder characterized by fatigue and depression. Mitchell decided that the best prescription would be a “rest cure”. Mitchell encouraged Gilman to “Live a domestic life as

The Yellow Wallpaper

900 words - 4 pages The Yellow Wallpaper In the grips of depression and the restrictions prescribed by her physician husband a woman struggles with maintaining her sanity and purpose. As a new mother and a writer, and she is denied the responsibility and intellectual stimulation of these elements in her life as part of her rest cure. Her world is reduced to prison-like enforcement on her diet, exercise, sleep and intellectual activities until she is "well

The Yellow Wallpaper

1308 words - 5 pages The Yellow Wallpaper      In the short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper'; by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator and her husband move to a colonial mansion for three months in order to help the narrator get better. She moves upstairs in this horrid room with yellow wallpaper. Throughout the story she studies the wallpaper because she isn't allowed out of the room that much because her husband, John, a physician, says

The Yellow Wallpaper

1218 words - 5 pages that there is a woman that is trapped behind the yellow wallpaper. The setting of the room symbolizes the loneliness the narrator is undergoing. The narrator has her mind encased that there is a woman struggling and in her solitary room, she feels its true and she is even seen fighting for her. The author used the room to symbolize what the main character was going through all alone in the isolated estate where she was brought by her husband. The

"The Yellow Wallpaper"

1115 words - 4 pages "The Yellow Wallpaper" Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" first appeared in 1892 and became a notary piece of literature for it' s historical and influential context. Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" was a first hand account of the oppression faced toward females and the mentally ill,whom were both shunned in society in the late 1890's. It is the story of an unnamed woman confined by her doctor-husband to an attic nursery with

"The Yellow Wallpaper"

1189 words - 5 pages "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

The Yellow Wallpaper

1473 words - 6 pages When looking at two nineteenth century works of change for two females in an American society, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Stephen Crane come to mind. A feminist socialist and a realist novelist capture moments that make their readers rethink life and the world surrounding. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” was first published in 1892, about a white middle-class woman who was confined to an upstairs room by her husband and doctor, the room’s

Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper

1226 words - 5 pages Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper      There are more reported cases of clinical depression in women than their are in men. There is also, generalized in western cultures, a stereotype that women are fragile and should be more dedicated to maintaining the home, doing feminine things, that they shouldn't work, and be discouraged from intellectual thinking. In the Victorian period (1837-1901) aside from women's suffragette movements the

The Yellow Wallpaper

2463 words - 10 pages Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1892 gothic and horror short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” traces the mental decline of a woman while undergoing a “rest cure”. This captivating story illustrates the stifling plight of the protagonist in a patriarchal society. Her husband, John, a physician, has taken the narrator, a new mother, to a rented country home for the summer in order for her to recover from postpartum psychosis. He isolates her in an upstairs

The Yellow Wallpaper - 1261 words

1261 words - 5 pages The yellow wallpaper The Yellow Wall-Paper,” by Charlotte Gilman Perkins, can be read as a simple story of a young woman suffering from postpartum depression. Her husband is unsympathetic to her needs, her doctor refuses to acknowledge her serious illness, and her emotional state declines as a result of being forced to stay inside her room in the middle of her vacation with no company except the yellow wallpaper. But, on a deeper level

Similar Essays

Patriarchy And The Yellow Wallpaper

2354 words - 9 pages Patriarchy and "The Yellow Wallpaper" "The Yellow Wallpaper" motivated the female mind of creativity and mental strength through a patriarchal order of created gender roles and male power during the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. While John represented characteristics of a typical male of his time, the yellow wallpaper represented a controlling patriarchal society; a sin of inequality that a righteous traitor needed to

The Awakening And The Yellow Wallpaper

2426 words - 10 pages           Kate Chopin's story The Awakening and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story The Yellow Wallpaper draw their power from two truths: First, each work stands as a political cry against injustice and at the socio/political genesis of the modern feminist movement. Second, each text is a gatekeeper of a new literary history. Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman seem to initiate a new phase in textual history where literary conventions are

Symbolism And Repression In The Yellow Wallpaper

2072 words - 8 pages Symbolism and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper        Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is as a wonderful example of the gothic horror genre. It was not until the rediscovery of the story in the early 1970’s that “The Yellow Wallpaper” was recognized as a feminist indictment of a male dominated society. The story contains many typical gothic trappings, but beneath the conventional façade hides a tale of repression

Women And Fiction In The Yellow Wallpaper

1344 words - 5 pages Women and Fiction in The Yellow Wallpaper      Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a deceptively simple story.  It is easy to follow the thirteen pages of narrative and conclude the protagonist as insane.  This is a fair judgement, after all no healthy minded individual becomes so caught up with "hideous" and "infuriating" wallpaper to lose sleep over it, much less lock herself in a room to tear the wallpaper down.  To be