Feminism with The Yellow Wallpaper
Feminism is base on the assumption that women have the same human, political and social rights as men, furthermore, that women should have the same opportunities as men in their personal choices. A feminist text will be written by woman, and it will point out deficiencies in society regarding equal opportunity. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman is a great example of a feminist text; telling a story about a woman’s against male thinking and society norms. In the short story, the woman is completely isolated and has no say in anything that regards her own life. Her husband John does what he believes to be what’s best for her, but in fact, is the complete opposite. It is this sequestration, brought on to her by her own husband, which led to her insanity. Gilman clarifies on the first page the narrator's feminist disinclination, "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage." (394, Kirszner & Mandell) This defines the woman's attitude towards her position in her marriage and society. The woman's defeatism also works to 'put her in her place' in the patriarchal society. After briefly explaining that her husband does not believe she is sick, she concedes, "And what can one do?” (394, Kirszner & Mandell) Less than one page later, she again surrenders, after expressing disagreement with her husband's methods: “Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” (394, Kirszner & Mandell). By offering the woman's disagreement, Gilman interprets women's 'hysterical tendencies' and 'nervous disorders.' Yet the narrator's meek capitulation to her situation allows the patriarchal reader to accept her as normal, and read the story as horror. Thus, Gilman uses the woman's submission as a backdrop for subtle feminist remarks, which she inserts carefully and liberally throughout the story. The narrator's...
Cited: Charlotte Perkins Gilman. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 7th ed., Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R Mandell. Boston, 2007. 489-498. Print.
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Gilman, Charlotte Perkins The Forerunner, October 1913, University of Texas via internet www.en.etexas.edu/~daniel/amlit/wallpaper
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