The Yellow Wallpaper and the Chrysanthemums - Symbols of Entrapment

Topics: Woman, Husband, Wife Pages: 2 (768 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Talents and dreams, hopes and desires, shunned by the husbands and times of the women in ìThe Crysanthemumsî and ìThe Yellow Wallpaper.î The wife, Elisa, in ìThe Crysanthemumsî, reflects an internal struggle with herself to find her place in a world of definite gender roles. ìThe Yellow Wallpaperî traces the treatment of a woman who descends from depression to madness in the male-imposed psychiatric confinement of her room. The mirror-like situations that hinder the protagonists in both stories call the women to conduct themselves in demeanors drastically different from one another.

Elisa Allen of ìThe Crysanthemumsî and the narrator of ìThe Yellow Wallpaperî both have husbands who fancy the idea of knowing what their wives want and need. On the way to dinner, Elisa asks her husband about the fights and his immediate reply is, ìWe can go if you want, but I dont think you would like them much.î He cannot fathom the idea that she may actually enjoy this non-feminie event. The narrators husband also assumes that he knows what is best for his wife. He thinks isolation and confinement will cure her ìnervous depression.î Nevertheless, this ìcureî makes her weak; it transforms her into a woman gone mad. She gives into the figments of her imagination and begins to metamorphose this ìthingî she imagines behind the wallpaper as a hallucinogenic image of herself. This ìwomanî becomes a deadly combination: best friend and worst enemy. She views the woman as trapped, and, in order to free herself from this non-fulfilling life, she must free the woman. Elisa also receives an uninvited guest, a tinker who she perceives as the perfect emblem of freedom. His life is on the road, in the wild-outside the fence. She, like the narrator, feels a need, a desire, to help this outsider in order to liberate ones self.

Vivid pictures and visions of a life with no barriers, boundaries, or limitations, run free in the minds of both Elisa Allen and the...
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