Female Protagonis Analysis

Good Essays
The short stories; ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Gilman and ‘On Her Knees’ by Tim Winton both have Female Protagonists who both suffer. Jane, the main Protagonist in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ Suffers from not only inner struggles but also external forces. In ‘On Her Knees’ Carol Lang, also comes across challenges and struggles in her life. The similarities in their struggles are plenty. They both have men controlling what they do, whether or not is intentional, they are both suffering from houses and materials around them and they are trapped by their gender and their class and role in society as women.

In ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, Jane Suffers from herself and her surroundings. Jane is Suffering from postnatal depression. This disease, the
…show more content…
Carol is a ‘working class’ single mother, she works hard to ‘keep us (Carol and her son, Victor) afloat’ after her ex husband ‘shot through’ a few years ago. He left debts that Carol had to pay off, leaving her working everyday ‘in someone else’s grotty shower’ not only to support herself and Victor but also to pay off the debts and send Victor to school. The mistress of the house is condescending. This is ironic because she has book written by ‘the likes of Germaine Greer’ and other feminists. It would be assumed that she is a feminist from looking at her bookshelf, however the way she treats Carol with ‘patronizing notes on floral paper’ it becomes unthinkable. The mistress accuses Carol of stealing ‘five-hundred-dollar earrings’ which Victor and Carol know is not true, because she ‘would only open a draw to put a clean knife or fork away’. Carol is suffering in this household because she must uphold her reputation and not kick up a fuss, so she shows that she is better than the mistress by leaving her final paycheck and the key to the house on a the bench. Carol is trapped by Victor, because she has such high hopes for him and his career in Law that she works everyday ‘on her knees’ to earn money so he can learn what she didn’t have the chance to. It is known that Carol …show more content…
If Carol’s Ex husband had not ‘shot through’ a few years ago then she would not be Suffering the way she is, since she would have more money to spend on Victor’s education and she would be ahead of herself. However this did happen so she is Suffering due to her Ex Husband’s debts, and the way he left them. If Carol was not as ‘hardworking’ as she is, then she would not choose to suffer for her son’s education, she might make him work for it or not have such a good education. She does have some control over her Suffering. On the other hand Jane has no control over her Suffering because her husband infantilizes her everyday of her life, reading her stories and carrying her up to bed and tucking her in etc. He treats her like his child, which in that time may have been acceptable however it was not allowing Jane to be her own person, and it was making her Suffer more than she had to as he would make her sit in bed all day, contemplating things she may have never even thought of if he had ‘allowed’ her to write and draw as she liked. Carol is forced to spend her days as a cleaning lady because she can not get a higher paying job or position due to her gender, and ‘working class’ role, Jane can not get a job at all because she ‘needs to rest’ or be home taking care of the child like all wealthy ‘upper class women’ should. Carol and Jane’s Suffering, although

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Many female writers write about women’s struggle for equality and how they are looked upon as inferior beings. Kate Chopin and Susan Glaspell exhibit their views about women in many of their short stories. In the short stories “The Story of an Hour”, and “Desiree’s Baby”, Chopin seems to want to address how oppressive treatment on the behalf of men, husbands affects women, wives. In Glaspell’s, “A Jury of Her Peers”, the relationship between men and women imply the oppressive attitudes that men portray of women and their standings as people. Elaine Hedges stated that this story was known for its “challenge to prevailing images or stereo types of women” that society had on them (250). Analytically, the commonality of theses three short stories seems to be these women acting upon the unbearable circumstances, whether it is toward themselves or their oppressor. In many of their works the idea that women’s actions are driven by the men in the story reveals that men are oppressive and dominant and women are somewhat vulnerable, naive and sensitive. Louise Mallard, Desiree Aubigny, and Minnie Foster shared one thing in common: they are the wives of oppressive husbands. Theses authors seem to also show that the women of these stories undergo a transformation from dependent and weak to stronger women free from their husbands in the end. So in the end, due to oppressive male dominance, and a patriarchal society, death is the unconventional outcome for these three characters in some way or form.…

    • 1597 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The stories “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman even though they have two very different plots are very similar in their themes and messages. In both stories, the women are being oppressed by their husbands and find ways to deal with it as well as being portrayed as weak and inferior and they both of their minds play tricks on them by making them hallucinate.…

    • 991 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin both present intriguing short stories with the common theme of oppression that strongly mirrors their personal experiences. The narrator in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is portrayed as being trapped by her husband and suffering from mental illness. This is represented by the woman behind the wallpaper. Chopin shows oppression in “The Story of an Hour” by Mrs. Mallard’s joy after the “death” of her husband and her reaction when he returns. It is evident that the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” represent the authors’ personal lives and oppression in women.…

    • 952 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    In American society it is a social norm for women to be delicate and vulnerable, they are seen as too weak to do the same things men do. This was especially true during the time period in which the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper,” “Jury of her peers,” and “Story of an Hour” were written in. The characteristics of gender roles, shown through in each individual story and hint at the stereotypes that were places on women of that time period. These specific female characters don’t let those stereotypes define them, they break free and show their true strengths. Though their societies would suggest them fragile, the main characters -- Louise Mallard, Minnie Foster Wright, and the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” -- respectively presented in the…

    • 1133 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The stories of The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and A Room of One’s Own by Virgina Woolf are important to view in their historical contexts. Both novels demonstrate that there are limits placed on women that prevent them from living complete lives. This demeans women and does not give them the same rights and privileges as men. The Yellow Wallpaper demonstrates the attitudes during the nineteenth century that concern female mental and psychical health. Whereas A Room of One’s Own explores whether women are capable of writing great literature and the obstacles that they are faced. Each story demonstrates an common idea that women are viewed as unequal to men and that they must work a lot harder to achieve the respect they wish to gain.…

    • 1017 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    In the "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman describes her postpartum depression through the character of Jane. Jane was locked up for bed rest and was not able to go outside to help alleviate her nervous condition. Jane develops an attachment to the wallpaper and discovers a woman in the wallpaper. This shows that her physical treatment is only leading her to madness. The background of postpartum depression can be summarized by the symptoms of postpartum depression, the current treatment, and its prevention. Many people ask themselves what happens if postpartum depression gets really bad or what increases their chances. Jane's treatment can show what can happen if it is not treated correctly. If Jane would have had different treatment, then she would not have gone insane.…

    • 2042 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Jane ‘s husband moves her away to a different house so she can get better and come out of what he refuses to believe is depression. It’ an old house that Jane suggests might have once been an asylum, which is crucial to the use of the setting in this story as it is essentially what leads to her insanity in the end. She is isolated in this house, even more…

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    To escape from their individual constraints, Jane, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Dave, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” become fixated on objects that eventually lead to their destruction. Striving to get well from a sickness that her husband John does not believe exists, Jane begins to become engrossed with an unappealing wallpaper. Treating her like a child with an overactive imagination, John forces her stay in a room “with windows [that are]barred” (747), and a “great immovable bed” (750). Symbolizing the stereotypical 19th century marriage, the wallpaper becomes a hated entity, one that must be demolished. Gilman writes:…

    • 1583 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Best Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 3193 Words
    • 13 Pages

    Jane, in “They Yellow Wallpaper”, exemplifies the outsider theme by her forced psychological isolation from the world. All of Jane’s worries, thoughts, and fears are recorded into her personal journal. With the treatment that she is receiving, her social isolation is causing her to lose herself with reality. Jane said, “I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless…

    • 3193 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Better Essays

    Mental health problems surround each and every person, and it is up to each person to cope in their own ways, in order to reduce the pain that they may feel. Psychological criticisms look at the mind and the behaviors of the characters throughout the story. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonist suffers from mental health problems, and not only must cope with this, but must also cope with her husband and the environment he has placed her in to facilitate her rehabilitation. Gilman depicts a husband trying to cure his wife of her depression by letting her rest alone, however, this has the opposite effect by further exacerbating her illness and her psychosis. Her environment, with the yellow wallpaper, can be seen as the reason for this mental decline by looking at her illness, coping styles and the symbolism throughout the story.…

    • 1377 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story about a woman who had just moved into a new home with her husband. The opening paragraph of the story is the unnamed narrator describing the home that she and her husband are renting. She is clearly uneasy in it and finds it to be uncomfortable. This story puts you into the mind of a deranged woman, who has a nervous breakdown.…

    • 1263 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator’s husband, John, was a physician who had diagnosed his wife a “temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman…

    • 810 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The componets of the wallpaper conclude with Jane being the old women who was trapped within the wallpaper. Resulting to that, the front wallpaper pattern was the imposter of Jane which John created. Eventually after she ripped down the front wallpaper which layered the back pattern, it peered to be a jail cell, was holding her back and kept her locked up. Not only did the looks of the wallpaper have symbolism but rather the less the smell of it constantly followed Jane around. The smell had more to it than yellow, it was the peers who evolved around her, she felt as if they were everywhere. The incapability of conforming to the norm was something she lacked, although she was driven to the stereotypical women growing up in the 1800s. Jane was kept away from her own child due to the capability she was unable to…

    • 562 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    This is part of the reason of her mental breakdown. While researching the story, we find out that our narrator is a new mother. In the time, no one knew of postpartum depression. This is essentially what is the cause of our narrator’s cessation. In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the treatment that the narrator receives has the harmful impact, making the narrator's condition worse. The irony is illumined when one considers what might have happened if the narrator had received no treatment at all. Would she have been able to see her baby? Would she have been better off? She then states, “I am glad my case is not serious" when in fact, it is more serious than she could ever envision. The other form of irony is that her husband is a physician who endorses the wrong type of treatment. He isolates her instead of letting her be free. He ignores her instead of listening to her…

    • 382 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Effects of Sexism

    • 918 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator begins her journal by admiring the odd splendor of the house her husband has rented for their summer vacation. She states that she is suffering from nervous depression and then complains that her husband John, who is a doctor, belittles her illness as well as her thoughts and concerns in general. She compares his practical and realistic manner with her own imaginative and sensitive ways. She states, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that. John is practical and extreme… You see he does not believe I am sick” (Gilman, 673). Her husband demands that her treatment require almost nothing active and she is especially forbidden from working and writing. Contrary to his beliefs, she feels that activity, freedom and work would help her condition. She claims that her secret journalism is used as a way to relieve her mind. She begins describing the house and is particularly disturbed by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom that possesses a strange, formless pattern. Being that John is often absent from the house, she longs for more stimulating company and activity. She describes…

    • 918 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays