Top-Rated Free Essay

Civil Disobedience & The Yellow Wallpaper

Good Essays
“Civil Disobedience” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” Breaking free is a tenant in both Dark Romanticism and Transcendentalism, what they are breaking free from is the difference . “The Yellow Wallpaper”’s main objective was for a woman to break free from the conformity of her husband’s rule. The main objective of “Civil Disobedience” is to go against the government’s conformity and rule. In both writings, true reality is spiritual, both writings also express that intuition is superior to logic and reason. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman struggles for a grip on reality, but continues to fall deeper into insanity. The woman was put on bed rest by her husband because of her postpartum depression which occurs after having her child. She is essentially forced to live in a room that is insinuated to be the room of an insane asylum. The Wallpaper is “dull enough to confuse the eye” ( Page 3, Paragraph 9 ) as the woman says. As she stays in this room she enroots a deep obsession with the wallpaper. She is fixed on believing a woman is trapped behind it. One day she finally snaps and tears the wallpaper off of the wall, telling her husband “‘I’ve got out at last,’ said I, ‘in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back’” ( Page 20, Paragraph 13). I feel the woman trapped behind the wallpaper was symbolizing her situation being trapped in her room. She manifests this thought that she is the woman behind the wallpaper and she is finally breaking free from the room, and from her husband’s watchful eye.
I also believe that the woman, being locked up for so long, begins to see a new vision of reality. She, of course, is really going insane, but much like a transcendental idea, she is being cut off from the rest of the world and is meditating or getting deeper in touch with herself. She is discovering that there is more to reality than the physical world. The woman follows her intuition and believes what she begins to see. She discovers that true reality is spiritual. It contains signs and symbols that we wouldn’t notice otherwise. The woman in the story begins to see the woman escape during the day. She says “I see her on that long road under the trees, creeping along, and when a carriage comes she hides under the blackberry vines.” ( Page 16, Paragraph 7 ). The woman she sees escaping symbolizes her desire to be free from the room and to be outside with nature.
Nature is a key part of transcendental ideals. It is shown in “Civil Disobedience” when Thoreau is locked up for not paying his taxes. Being locked in a cell all night gives Thoreau a new view on his town. He hears new sounds and sees new things he had never stopped to pay attention to before. Thoreau being locked in a cell and realizing new things is very similar to the woman being locked in a room and realizing a new reality. As stated before, Thoreau was locked up for not paying his taxes, for breaking free from the conformity of the government and their overpowering laws. He expresses this when saying “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” (:You told me not to cite this :)
The difference between the two stories would be what they were breaking free of. In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the woman is trying to break free from the confinement of her room and it's hideous wallpaper. In "Civil Disobedience" Thoreau is breaking free from the shackles of the government by not paying his taxes. They both excellently display the meaning of breaking free, although they do it in different ways.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” For quite a long time before the past century, the female gender had been a race characterized by limited opportunity and the widespread belief of inferiority to the male gender. It was not until the women’s rights movement took off in the 1920’s that women began to enjoy having the same opportunities as men and playing an active role in society. Before that time, women were perceived as being inferior to their male counterparts and received less respect than men. This resulted…

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Annotated Article Bibliography McGowan, Todd. “Dispossessing the Self; ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and the Renunciation of Property.” The Feminine ‘No!’: Psychoanalysis and the New Canon. Albany: State U of NY P(ress), 2001. 31-46. eNotes. Web. 7 April 2013. In a critical essay by Todd McGowan analyzing The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, he focuses on the narrator’s struggle between what she desires and controlling herself. McGowan indicates that if the narrator were to free herself…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 2497 Words
    • 7 Pages

    an ingenious woman. On the surface, her most renowned work, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” appears to be a simple journal of a women struggling with mental illness. Throughout the story, her husband, whom is also her physician, coins her state as nothing more than a mere nervous disorder. He treats her with the “rest cure.” To begin her treatment, the couple temporarily moves to an isolated summer home, and as the days pass, the wallpaper surrounding their room becomes the item for which the narrator’s…

    • 2497 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 2161 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Perspective of Women’s Hysteria in “The Yellow Wallpaper" Critics view Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" as either a work of supernatural horror or as a feminist treatise regarding the controversial role of women in society. A close analysis of Gilman 's use of symbols reveals "The Yellow Wallpaper" as her response to the male view of hysteria from ancient times through the nineteenth century. " In "The Yellow Wallpaper" Gilman questions the validity of Hippocrates…

    • 2161 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    the yellow wallpaper

    • 2731 Words
    • 11 Pages

    KV RAMA RAO The Yellow Wallpaper- A Dynamic Symbol: A Study of Charlotte Perkins Oilman 's Story [ 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' was originally published in the January 1892 issue of Afew England Magazine. In 1973 the Feminist Press issued a reprint of the 1899 version. Both versions have become popular. The present study is based on the original text, contained in the Gilman MSS ']. As a short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' is multidimensional. A sensitive woman 's struggle for liberty and…

    • 2731 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages

    011 06 August 2011 Topic 3 Research Paper Assignment "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women's physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothis fiction and horror fiction. Gilman's macabre fantasy, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, exploits the nightamrish feel, violence and uncanny terror found…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages

    insane. In the story “The Yellow-Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator is staying in a summer house with her husband, John. She is going through a nervous condition which is keeping her from working until she is well enough to do so. John takes diligent care of her as she is going through her illness and makes sure she is well taken care of. The room her and her husband are staying in, in the summer home, has yellow wallpaper. This yellow wallpaper seems to have a big effect…

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    the yellow wallpaper

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Yellow Wallpaper How can a simple old yellow wallpaper drive someone insane? “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a short story by Charlotte Gilman, is about a married couple whose wife is a little sick, and John (her husband) forbidden her leave a room that has old yellow wallpaper where she’s left alone constantly and the lack of something to occupy her time causes the her to become delusional. John’s assumption of his own superior wisdom leads him to dominate his wife, all in the name of “helping” her…

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages

    year was "The Yellow Wallpaper" written? “The Yellow Wallpaper' was written in 1892. 4. What years did Gilman's writing career span?Gilman's writing career spanned from 1891 to 1935 5. What do most critics suggest "The Yellow Wallpaper" is about?Most critics suggest “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a condemnation of the androcentric[->0] of the 19th-century medical profession. 6. What does the title mean? The title means that it is what the whole story is about the yellow wallpaper in the rental…

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 1771 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Rosemary Brown Woessner H205 May 13, 2014 The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gillman was a writer and social reformer, a feminist as she encouraged women to gain their independence. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman was a writer and social activist during the late 1800s and early 1900s. She had a difficult childhood. Her father, Frederick Beecher Perkins was a relative of well-known and influential Beecher family, including the writer…

    • 1771 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays