The Repression of Female’s Individuality in Susan Glaspell’s “a Jury of Her Peers” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “the Yellow Wallpaper”

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9 November 2008
The Repression of Female’s Individuality in Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" and Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper” are both informative in conveying the place of women in society, and their struggle with gender inequality. Glaspell's story appears a simple detective story, but through an extensive communication between two women, she slowly reveals the root of the conflict. Gilman's story focuses on a woman who suffers from a depression, but what it truly examines is male dominance. The common theme of both of these stories contributes to several similarities between them. Both of the protagonists face similar obstacles in their marriages.

The first similar obstacle, Minnie Foster in "A Jury of Her Peers," and the protagonist in "The Yellow Wallpaper," confront is a lack of growth of self-development. A sufficient amount of description conveyed by other characters about Minnie informs readers that after marriage she becomes homebound and submissive to her husband. This suggests during the time this story was written, a woman's only source of shelter and food was her husband's home. As a result, this prevents her from fulfilling her potential needs as a human. Her shabby clothes and the always hanging coat indicate how little she develops a personality of her own. Another area which indicates her arrested self-development is her role as a wife half her life. Her role does not grow as a mother, and thus a person. The inexistence of a child, location of her house in an isolated area, and no means of communication indicates she is deprived of the physiological needs. For example, sexual activity, love, and the need to belong to a social network composed of family and friends. These are the needs by which a person faces dynamic growth. By going through different phases in life both good and bad with different people and events, multiple experiences help one...
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