Male Dominated

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Silas Weir Mitchell Pages: 3 (1143 words) Published: May 30, 2009

Male Dominated Society

This essay is about two short stories which are “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. Both are so different but very alike at the same time, the stories use symbolism and imagery to express their true feelings. They both struggle with feminism and individualism, while living in an era where it was a male dominated society.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses symbolism and imagery to convey a sad story of the repression that women faced during the late 1800's. Gilman writes "The Yellow Wallpaper" from her own personal experiences of having to face the overwhelming fact that this is a male- dominated society, and sometimes women suffer because of it. The narrator, being female, is suffering from postpartum depression that slowly ends in total loss of reality. Likewise "Hills like White Elephants" written by Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism and imagery to express choices and consequences. It’s about an American man and a young girl named Jig who is traveling throughout Spain together. The couple is in Barcelona outside of the train station sitting at a table at a bar in the late 1920’s. The couple is contemplating about a drastic decision that could affect their lives forever. “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Hills Like White Elephants” are two stories that represent how they were living in a male dominated environment and felt as if their feelings didn’t matter. The time period of “The Yellow Wallpaper” was a factor in the outcome of the story because back then there was little scientific knowledge and archaic cultural values. The story takes place in the late 19th century. During this time period, it was customary for the women to be treated like little children. For example, John says to his wife, “What is it, little girl?” (Gilman, 2006, p.518). Women were supposed to obey everything that their husband said for example “There comes John, and I...

References: Gilman, C. (2006). The Yellow Wallpaper. In A. Booth, J. Hunter, K. Mays (Eds.), The Norton Introduction to Literature (pp. 513-524). New York: Norton.
Hemingway, E. (2006). Hills Like White Elephants. In A. Booth, J. Hunter, K. Mays (Eds.), The Norton Introduction to Literature (pp. 128-132). New York: Norton.
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