The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 5 Pages 1173 Words

The Yellow Wallpaper “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells a story of a woman’s struggle in a patriarchal society, during postpartum. Her main oppressor is her husband John, “a physician of high standing.” Since she is his wife, he has to maintain that he is in charge of the situation, he removes her from her home, a place where women generally feel at ease, to an alleged resting-place in a “colonial mansion.” After all, “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?” This statement shows her sense of powerlessness of the situation and her life in general. Sadly, her brother, who is also a physician in high standing, feels the same as John. Although she feels “that there is something queer about” the “colonial mansion” that they are residing in for the summer, she is laughed at and forced to stay. This supports the theory that the female voice is not valued much. Like other women, she has grown to expect that sort of treatment, and does not think anything of it. There is reason behind her feelings; mansions are gene Continue...

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There is a reversal of power here. This is a form of suppression that the author has used to convey the limitations set for women by men in the patriarchal society. Since art is generally a form of expression, and the text suggests that the narrator was an artist before she became sick, and as a child. She can finally categorized the smell that she smells. John's treatment of his wife resembles a father daughter relationship not that of a husband and wife. She portrays the perfect domestic wife of the 19th century. The only thing she can think of that it is like the color of the paper! A yellow smell. "It used to disturb her at first...but now she is used to it. Her sense of self had been lost after she had the baby. He "gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed, and sat by me and read to me till it tired my head. The narrator talks about the wallpaper and how it appears at night verses the way it appears during the day. She was unable to express her self with pen and paper. It can be concluded that she is unconsciously describing her life as it was before, through the wallpaper.