The Yellow Wallpaper and the Awakening Comparison

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story telling about a young woman who is eventually driven mad by the society. The narrator is apparently confused with the norm defining “true” and “good” woman constructed by society dominated by man. “The Awakening” addressed the social, scientific, and cultural landscape of the country and the undergoing of radical changes. Each of these stories addresses the issue of women’s rights and how they were treated in the late 19th century. “The Awakening” explores one woman's desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose caused friction between her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time. Upper and middle-class women in that era mostly had a role as their husband’s ornament, the angel of the house. With the emergence of middle-class society due to the Industrial Revolution, many new rich men wanted to show off their valuable “treasure”; a wife that is passive, obedient, beautiful, submissive, pious, and pure. This beautiful-to-be-looked role of a wife is similar to that of wallpaper. In a patriarchal society, relationship between a husband and a wife was similar to a relationship between a parent and a child. A parent had a right to say things and a child had an obligation to listen and to do what the parent said. A child was not supposed to disagree. The child must submit him or herself to the parent. It made the child dependent on the parent. It can be seen clearly that the husband treated his wife as a child. He called her his “blessed little goose”), and “little girl.” When the narrator tried to tell him what she thought was good for her, but not appropriate to the husband’s opinion, the husband used sweet words to force his idea toward the wife. “My darling,” said he, “I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake, as well as for your own, and that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! … Can you not trust me as a physician...
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