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The Yellow Wallpaper, A Descen - Online Term Paper

The Yellow Wallpaper, A Descen


"The Yellow Wallpaper", A Descent Into Madness
In the nineteenth century, women in literature were often portrayed as submissive to men. Literature of the period often characterized women as oppressed by society, as well as by the male influences in their lives. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents the tragic story of a woman’s descent into depression and madness because of this oppression.
The narrator’s declining mental health is reflected through the characteristics of the house she is trapped in and her husband, while trying to protect her, is actually destroying her. The narrator of the story goes with her doctor/husband to stay in a colonial ...

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work and compulsion that had once served to distinguish public life from a sentimentary understood home" [Fleissner 59].
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a fictionalized account of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s own postpartum depression. Gilman was a social critic and feminist who wrote prolifically about the necessity of social and sexual equality, particularly about women’s need for economic independence. According to critic Valarie Gill,
"Gilman attached the nineteenth century’s configuration of private space as woman’s domain and its attendant generalizations about femininity. Gilman seeks to blur the distinction between private and public life. Gilman unflaggingly urged her audience to consider their logic in assigning women to the home. The composition of home life altered radically between the beginning and final decades of the nineteenth century" (17).
The narrator loves her baby, but knows she is not able to take care of him. "It is fortunate Mary is ...

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modernity would usher in a new ‘gynandrocratic’ era in which the sexes would move evolutionarily closer together" (72)
Because the story is written in diary format, we feel especially close to this woman. We are in touch with her innermost thoughts. The dominance of her husband, and her reaction to it, is reflected throughout the story. The narrator is continually submissive, bowing to her husband’s wishes, even though she is unhappy and depressed. Her husband has adopted the idea that she must have complete rest if she is to recover. "So I…am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again" (Gilman 357). John does not even want her to ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/8/2008 08:54:52 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1807
Pages: 7

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