The Yellow Wallpaper

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Woman Pages: 4 (1441 words) Published: July 24, 2013
Progress for Feminist: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Rachel Hendricks
Shorter University

Abstract
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s (1892) story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” shows a young woman confined to her own home going completely insane. The setting of the story shows the dominant husband controlling her and making her condition worse.

Progress for Feminist: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, English Standard Version). Late 19th century women were fighting for change in regards to the social norms and expectations forced upon them by traditions and male domination. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story that depicts the position of a married, middle-class woman who accepts her role as a quiet and dutiful wife. John her husband, who is also a doctor, assumes his role as wise and superior male with pride. Gilman uses metaphors in this story to show the different ways which women struggle in a society dominated by men. Examples are a submissive marriage, forbidden development or expression, and physical confinement, Gilman proclaims an early feminist message of the need for immediate change. Gilman uses the marriage contract between the narrator and John as a metaphor in the plot development to display the complete control he possesses over his wife regardless of what she thinks or feels. The narrator being a young, newly married woman in the respectable upper class of society is aware of the laws regarding marriage, “These marriage and property laws, or "coverture," stipulated that a married woman did not have a separate legal existence from her husband,” (President & Fellows of Harvard College, 2010, Women and Law). First it is noted her husband will maintain complete dominance over her entire life. In addition anything she owns of value is automatically his and she is expected to...
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