Struggle for Freedom
"The Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and "The Story of an Hour", by Kate Chopin, are alike in that both of the women in the stories have internal conflicts about struggling for freedom. Husbands control both of their wives even in the most obvious aspects of their lives. This may become the main reason why women feel an intense desire for freedom. Although the women in the stories have different methods to fight for their own freedom out of their unpleasant marriages, both of them have ample internal conflicts while struggling. In "The Yellow Wallpaper," the woman has internal conflicts. The narrator initially thinks she must bend to her husband and do exactly what he tells her; however, the yellow wallpaper in narrator’s room stimulating her internal conflicts. Narrator’s husband significantly represses her. For example, "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage" (Gilman, Charlotte Perkins 75). This quote shows the narrator simply thinks that this is the way marriage is expected to be and she is unable to change it. As Treichler Paula A indicates, “Because she does not feel free to speak truthfully to a living soul, she confides her thoughts to a journal- ‘dead paper’-instead”(61). This shows the narrator does have her own thoughts about her unpleasant marriage even though the journal is the only defense against her husband. However, Kautz Elizabeth Dolan points out that: The protagonist records her own diagnosis in an unauthorized journal that she hides from her husband: ‘John is a physician, and perhaps…perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster’. As her despair deepens, the narrator expresses this diagnosis through vivid fantasies about the yellow wallpaper in her room. Critics have identified the wallpaper as a metaphor for a disruptive center that releases from bondage the woman that the narrator imagines creeping around the walls. (83) Thus, the conclusion that the woman...
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