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By aig123, Oak Lawn, IL
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Literary Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Image Credit: Amy S., Roslindale, MA
Charlotte Perkins Gilman once said, “There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver” (Brainyquote). Gilman’s belief that there really was no difference in means of mentality between men or women is strongly demonstrated through “The Yellow Wallpaper”. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story about a woman who has a mental illness but cannot heal due to her husband’s lack of belief. The story appears to take place during a time period where women were oppressed. Women were treated as second rate people in society during this time period. Charlotte Perkins Gilman very accurately portrays the thought process of the society during the time period in which “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written. Using the aspects of Feminist criticism, one can analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman through the dialogue through both the male and female perspective, and through the symbol found in the story.
To begin with, one can analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” by examining the aspect of dialogue through the male perspective. Gilman makes a strong statement about males in society during her time period. The men are portrayed to really see women as children more than as individuals. This is made clear when the Narrator says, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- - slight hysterical tendency- - what is one to do?” (Gilman). Gilman shows the male perspective through dialogue because the Narrator explains that no matter what she says her husband shrugs away her illness. He strongly believes that his wife is being overly dramatic and that nothing is wrong. The...