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“the yellow wallpaper “by charlotte perkins gilman”

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Perception of Women in the Society In her short story “The Yellow paper,” Charlotte Perkins utilizes illustrative scenes and good command of language to communicate of the difficulties faced by women in the 19th century. She is keen to utilize the art of fiction as a vehicle to establish the feelings that she also underwent, creating an outburst of emotions secondary to the secrets she does reveal. Essentially, the short story is a feminist masterpiece, which does expose the evils and torments that did exist in a marriages and family life at that moment. She expound of his life and the various major hassles she undergoes while in the marriage. She is keen to write any daily experience on his dairy, and all long, she draw a picture of a woman in society: weak, inferior, subservient to men, and meek. Even the closest friend- husband did lack confidence to the wife. The author puts it “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do? . . . So I take phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again (Gilman, pg. 3).”
The narrator’s life is perceived having a pathological disorder of her nervousness’ she is too inquisitive at every one point until she is diagnosed of a psychiatric disorder. In essence, she is a creative woman, who is in a position to think beyond boundaries. However, the society perceives this as a disorder. Her husband, a renowned physician, also takes it that she is not well holistically. She assures all the relatives and friends that the wife is sick, a concept they cannot question. In her work, she portrays the husband, John as “practical in the extreme.  He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures (Gilman, pg. 2).”
Due to his mental deficiency, she is locked up in a room, a kind of nursery children’s room. This is a further indicator of the way the husband perceives her- a child. She is segregated in the room with bars on the windows- similar to a prison. She is not allowed to do any writing. Women are not allowed to put down their thoughts. She has to engage fully on the wallpaper to divert her mind away. The narrator expounds that the wallpaper color was symbolic of inferiority issues, backwardness and cowardice. Therefore, the narrator was inferior to men (Gilman, pg. 17).
These are just some of the instances that erupt and dictate the perception of women in the society. She illustrates how the society does stereotype women as the weaker sex. As a woman, she should not question anything, but should just act in obedience to all the instructions. Charlotte did fulfil her role of drawing a picture of a woman in the 19th century.
Work cited
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Literature: An introduction to reading and writing. 6th Edition

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