Yellow Wall Paper

1429 words - 6 pages

The Transformation of Women in The Yellow WallpaperThe Yellow Wallpaper is a story, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Although the work is short, it is one of the most interesting works in existence. Gilman uses literary techniques very well. The symbolism of The Yellow Wallpaper can be seen and employed after some thought and make sense immediately. The views and ideals of society are often found in literary works. Whether the author is trying to show the ills of society of merely telling a story, culture is woven onto the words. The female perspective of today has changed quite a bit. For one thing the role of the female in society has changed drastically since 1892. The women of today compete for the same jobs that men do and this causes them to take care of themselves and fight for themselves. For another thing the role of the male has changed since the book was written. Since women today are a part of the working community, men are forced to reckon with the reality that women are as capable and stable as men. "I've got out at last," it is not until the end when John and Jennie get a peek of the disturbed narrator's imagination as she finally breaks and goes insane. She finally expressed herself without regard to her husband's wisdom or the fact that he is a doctor. The modern day viewer's perspective of the story is one of disgust or sickened compassion. The reader would read the beginning and think the narrator is a normal person who is controlled by her husband. As the reader continues a feeling of dislike and even hatred towards the husband for disregarding her opinions and feelings. A woman of today, if she were in the same position as the narrator, would have at the very least gotten a second opinion. Of course since medicine has advanced drastically since The Yellow Wall Paper was published, it is believed that this situation would have never gotten so severe. The husbands of modern day, in general, do not hold such an air of superiority as John appeared to have. Since he knew he was right, being a doctor, he seemed to disregard any or all of the narrator's suggestions and opinions. He even had the ability and audacity to force his wife to stay in a room she was not comfortable staying in, even though the trip to this house was for own good. The relationship between the narrator and her husband would be disagreeable to a modern woman's relationship. Today, most women crave equality with their partner. The reader never learns the name of the narrator, perhaps to give the illusion that she could be any woman. On the very fist page of The Yellow Wall Paper, Gilman illustrates the male dominated society and relationship. It was customary for men to assume that their gender knew what, when, how, and why to do things. John, the narrator's husband, is a prominent doctor and both his and his wife's words and actions reflect the aforementioned stereotype: "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage," (9). This statement...

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