Comparison Between Heroins in the Yellow Wallpaper and the Story of an Hour

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Woman, The Yellow Wallpaper Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: March 16, 2013
The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper are both set in the late nineteenth century; an era where men were predominately the sole providers of their household and they held high dominance in the workforce and society. During this time, society viewed women as second-class citizens, which in turn encouraged the oppression of women. “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination” (Chopin14). The institute of marriage and the restraints that marriage exerts on women ties together the main female protagonist of each story. Apart from the similarities, we, the readers, are also exposed to many differences between the main female protagonists based on the manner in which they each handle their situations and circumstances. In The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we are introduced to a highly expressive female protagonist and the drama and emotional turmoil she is currently experiencing. The female protagonist is suffering from a nervous disorder, likely postpartum. “nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman 55) As an active physician, her husband, John has prescribed his wife’s treatment, which largely involves confining her to a room within the rented house. “So I take phosphates, or phosphites- whichever it is - and tonics, and air and exercise… and am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas” (Gilman 160). We also learn that John has forbidden his wife from using her imagination during the treatment, however she secretly rebels and continues to delight her imagination through a secret diary. Due to the female protagonist’s disorder, she becomes obsessed with the strange wallpaper in her room, to the point where she is...
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