Subordination of Woman
The feminist theory looks into women’s social roles and the tolerance woman must have in order to stay in a marriage. Susan Glaspell and Charlotte Gilman wrote in a time where it was socially unacceptable to divorce your husband in any circumstance. Feminist theory is a deeply rooted in the short stories and the inequalities these women face in comparison to their males counterparts. In “Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman, the oppression and destruction of the female character is created from the male characters’ insensitivities and false perceptions of the female’s physical and mental state. The male characters in both stories all play prominent professional roles in society; a doctor, sheriff, and a county attorney. This may suggest the class differences of their time and what we called an “elitist” attitude. Men used condescending tone toward women which appeared acceptable in this period of time. In multiple scenarios, the male characters use their authority as a catalyst to try to tell the women what is best for them. It is clearly seen by the end of “Jury of Her Peers” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” that the neglected and mistreatment of the females is what pushed them to the break of their insanity and destructive behaviors. The female characters in “The Yellow Wallpaper and “Jury of Her Peers” are forced into specific gender roles enforced by authoritative men, ultimately making the women feel inadequate and worthless. The female narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper" speaks of her husband who does not even acknowledge she is ill and makes nonchalant excuses for her. For example, she claims John says, “There is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression…” (Gilman 355) Furthermore every female character in the story held a job that enforced gender stereotyping; a woman’s sole purpose was to keep up appearances of a home. Glaspell and Gilman seem to suggest that...
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