Free Essay

He Yellow Wallpaper

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nadiasen69
Words 1062
Pages 5
"The Yellow Wallpaper" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was first published in 1892, and "The Story of an Hour" written by Kate Chopin, was written and first published under the title "The Dream of an Hour" in 1894. These two stories deal with the position of women in the late 1800’s. This era is especially interesting because women were still treated as second-class citizens. These two stories had a lot in common and shared a lot of the same views about life of women governed by the laws of men. Aside that both husbands, Mr. Mallard from "The Story of an Hour" and John from "The Yellow Wallpaper" are very similar as they both have a very strong hold and control over their wives, they also are very different such as John demonstrates his dominance by talking down to his wife. This is demonstrated by the following quote: "What is it, little girl?" he said. "Don't go walking about like that – you'll get cold" “(Gilman 63) but in “The Story of an Hour”, there is a different type of male dominance as Mr. Mallard did not allow her to fulfill her dreams and aspirations. Although both men have a strong control over their wives, both men deeply care for and love their wives. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator’s husband controlled her both mentally and physically. Her husband, “a physician of high standing” (Gilman 55), has diagnosed her as having a “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman 55). He does not allow her to have any sort of mental or physical stimulation. The narrator is forbidden to engage in normal social conversation; her physical isolation is in part designed to remove her from the possibility of over-stimulating intellectual discussion. She is forbidden to work and not even supposed to write. The narrator is keeping a journal, confiding to “dead paper” (Gilman 55) the unorthodox thoughts and perceptions she is reluctant to tell to a “living soul” (Gilman 55). The woman wants to experience her own life, but, more importantly to her, to have the ability to express herself and be creative. Challenging and subverting the expert prescription that forbids her to write, the journal evokes a sense of urgency and danger. “There comes John, and I must put this away, – he hates to have me write a word” (Gilman 57). Furthermore, visitors are absolutely not allowed. She says, “It is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about my work…but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now”(Gilman 58). Without a doubt John loved his wife, in the sense that he took care of her while she was ill. Not only had John taken care of his wife, he also moved out to a secluded colonial house for some time in order to have his wife in the optimal relaxed environment. Being a physician, John thought secluding his wife and restricting her from most or any activity at all was best for her. His actions had all the right intentions, and the compassion he showed was sincere, his wife even tells us “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction” (Gilman 56). She is virtually imprisoned in her bedroom, supposedly to allow her to rest and recover her health. Disturbed by the wallpaper, she asked for another room or for different paper; her husband argues with her not to give way to her “fancies” (Gilman 58). The wallpaper is to remain: acknowledgement of its reality is the first step toward freedom. At the end of the story, his husband surprisingly fainted as the narrator followed her own logic, her own perceptions, and her own projects into madness by destruction of the wallpaper “I've got out at last... And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!” (Gilman 70). The woman goes crazy for lack of freedom. She goes crazy and experiences her own type of freedom, but her freedom is only temporary, and once she leaves the house she is going to start getting better.
On the other hand, Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” had to deal with the same sort of affliction as the narrator in “The Yellow wallpaper” as her husband had control over her body and soul but in different ways. Mrs. Mallard’s life has not been her own ever since she got married. When Louise marries Brently she becomes Mrs. Mallard, she loses her identity and assumes a new and strange one. “She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky” (Chopin 2). Love, in “The story of An Hour” I believe is somewhat superficial. Mrs. Mallard tells that “And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not” (Chopin 3). The short amount of time it took her to mourn the death of her husband also helps to support the argument that there was no real love in that marriage. When she learns of her husband's death, her thoughts on what life would be like without her husband are pleasing. "Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin 3). Mrs. Mallard wants to live without her husband. She believes freedom is hers; however, when she finds out her husband is not dead; she had shock of her losing it again causes her to have a heart attack and die. However, death is eternal freedom for her.
These two husbands are very similar but also very different. Both husbands love their wives who are very weak and they both have a very strong hold and control over their women, but both are different type of male dominance. Each story had own way of demonstrating the twist at the end as one let the wallpaper drive her crazy and the other had her freedom drive her dead. These two stories are definitely a try to let women be who they want to be and not to shut them away to try to make them better. Everyone needs to freely express him and women must be included in that, too.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Gender Roles In The Yellow Wallpaper

...Gender roles have always existed, but Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows how these gender roles had extreme consequences for women in the 1900’s. “The Yellow Wallpaper” addresses several topics in De Beauvoir and Gilbert and Gubar’s texts by illustrating the passivity forced onto women, the aura of mystery that subsequently surrounds the feminine, and the mental illness that inevitably follows. Gilman’s text is a tale that warns of the dangers of forcing inactivity onto women. The narrator’s husband, a physician named John, diagnoses her with a “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman 648). He prescribes for her uninterrupted isolation: a “rest cure.” This was a common treatment for hysteria...

Words: 1039 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper as a Feminist Text

...Consider “The Yellow Wallpaper” As A Feminist Text Before the 20th century, women were mostly controlled by men. Men chose the women’s role for them. Most women suffered from this, but a majority of it came from the lower and middle classes. Men controlled women and made them feel like they were trapped, or in prison. In present time this would be an issue, but in the 19th century and before, this was so common that it was seen as normal. Women were to be home serving their families. The men made them into servants. Women were led to believe that their duty in this world was to serve their man. Many women were unable to breakaway from this lifestyle because of the strong religious beliefs they had. If they had any desires to leave or not do as they were told, they would think they were sinning and letting down God. When the “Yellow Wallpaper” first came out, many were surprised and thought that such a story shouldn’t have been shared. It was described as insane and crazy and wasn’t an accurate description of society. Some Men refused to allow their wives to read it, thinking that it could lead them to start believing in other things. People were shocked by the story but quickly played it off as a fictional story. Some women who read it started envisioning a different life. "The ideal woman was not only assigned a social role that locked her into her home, but she was also expected to like it, to be cheerful and gay, smiling and good humored" (Lane, To Herland 109). At......

Words: 1043 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper

...The Baby Yellows “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an unnerving tale about a woman and her spiral into psychosis. Mirroring the author’s actual experiences with depression and the “resting cure”, the story criticizes medical care that ignores patient concerns and deprives them of emotional outlets that could have been beneficiary towards a healthy mind. Set in the late nineteenth century, “The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates the psychological effects of the popular “resting cure” and how the narrator is influcenced by it. While the illness the narrator has is never actually said, it is very heavily implied that she is suffering from postpartum depression. Eventually, her husband’s reliance on the “resting cure” and denying her healthy mental activities is what causes her depression to grow into postpartum psychosis. Postpartum depression is a form of depression typically affecting women after childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include hallucinations and delusions, extreme agitation or anxiety, overwhelming fatigue, bizarre behavior, mood swings, inability or refusal to eat or sleep, and over worrying about the infant. The narrator showcases all of these symptoms, leading to the heavy assumption that she is suffering from postpartum depression. The narrator regularly experiences hallucinations, seeing a woman trapped behind bars in the pattern of the wallpaper. Gilman writes, “The front pattern does move- and no wonder! The......

Words: 1183 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Yellow Wall Paper

...“THE YELLOW WALLPAPER” BY CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN Introduction In the late nineteenth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1973) wrote “The Yellow Wall Paper”. This story can make a readers' mind think just by the way this story presents the main character of a woman and her ordeals as she lived a secluded life, as well as how her relationship with the man in her life is dealt. Some readers might think she is crazy and some may think she is depressed. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the story of a woman's descent into madness as the result of being isolated as a form of "treatment" when suffering from post-partum depression. The author, who is believed to be narrator as well, talks about her personal travel in to the world where an illness has brought her. All her thought and feelings are written in a journal and as she goes down in to the world that she has created in the confines of the room where she was kept. The story line presents that the narrator's mental condition is getting worse, leading to psychosis. Gilman explains the complexities of woman nature as she uses symbolisms to define the psychological realms of the plot. “The Yellow Wallpaper” ​The unnamed woman in this story (believed to be the author herself) fantasies about the yellow wallpaper are driving her mad. The protagonist experienced hallucinations and persistent thoughts over things. Crawling women, colorful artwork and a moving pattern depict the narrator's increased......

Words: 1426 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper

...The Yellow Wallpaper: A Woman's Struggle Pregnancy and childbirth are very emotional times in a woman's life and many women suffer from the "baby blues." The innocent nickname for postpartum depression is deceptive because it down plays the severity of this condition. Although she was not formally diagnosed with postpartum depression, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) developed a severe depression after the birth of her only child (Kennedy et. al. 424). Unfortunately, she was treated by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, who forbade her to write and prescribed only bed rest and quiet for recovery (Kennedy et al. 424). Her condition only worsened and ultimately resulted in divorce (Kennedy and Gioia 424). Gilman's literary indictment of Dr. Mitchell's ineffective treatment came to life in the story "The Yellow Wallpaper." On the surface, this gothic tale seems only to relate one woman's struggle with mental illness, but because Guilman was a prominent feminist and social thinker she incorporated themes of women's rights and the poor relationships between husbands and wives (Kennedy and Gioia 424). Guilman cleverly manipulates the setting to support her themes and set the eerie mood. Upon first reading "The Yellow Wallpaper," the reader may see the relationship between the narrator and her husband John as caring, but with examination one will find that the narrator is repeatedly belittled and demeaned by her husband. On first arriving at the vacation home John......

Words: 1033 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

“the Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman’s

...Charlotte Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a feminist’s tale of a woman who is spoken to like a child, ignored like a piece of furniture, and treated medically in a way that is horrible to most sensibilities. The horror she tolerates starring at the dreadful wallpaper day after day is really just a side effect of her abuse, and her frustrating lack of fulfillment, which was forbidden by a fool-hardy psychologist and enforced by the patriarchy of her husband. The short story was published in a New England magazine in 1892 and was received with mixed reviews. “Such a story ought not to be written” said one Boston physician. “Another physician, in Kansas, I think, wrote to say that it was the best description of incipient insanity he had ever seen” Crazy, or not, Gilman’s work was quickly recognized for its feminist message. “Gilman's story quickly evolved from a relatively obscure and subversive magazine piece of the late nineteenth century to a formative feminist classic” (St. Jean, 2002,). There are several examples of Gilman being spoken to by her husband the way a parent would speak to an anxious four year-old. “What is it little girl?” he said, “Don’t go walking about like that – you’ll get cold” (Gilman, in Kirszner, 2010, p. 465). “Bless her little heart!” said he with a big hug, “she shall be as sick as she pleases…[go] to sleep, and talk about it in the morning” (p. 466). Thrailkill confirms that The Yellow Wallpaper is indeed a feminist......

Words: 490 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Poem Reaction

...the way that they do throughout the stories. The character's feelings are shown within their minds, it shows how they are changing throughout the story. In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Stetson, the main characters’ words and actions help the reader understand the plot and theme clearly. The main character of this story has a journal in which she records how she is feeling during her “sickness.”One can conclude from her journal especially as one reads further and further into the story, that she is going out of her mind, from this yellow wallpaper.In the story it states,“The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight... I’m really getting fond of the big room, all but that horrid paper”(649). The main character is giving us insight to the fact that she is becoming angry with this yellow wallpaper that is haunting her in her room. It gets to point where she starts seeing shadows and figures in the wallpaper staring at her through the night. Another example from the story, “ I tried to lift and push it until I was lame and then I got so angry I bit off a little piece at one corner but it hurt my teeth. Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor”(655). Our character is growing so angry with this wallpaper, that she is starting to peel it off of the walls of the room. She has even thought of jumping out of the window to get away from...

Words: 1526 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper Symbolism

...In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator and her husband John are renting a house for three weeks. Her husband, who is a physician, believes she suffers from temporary nervous depression. “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 275). He makes her stay in a room and orders her to get as much sleep as possible. He believes it is best for her not to write or do any activity she enjoys. Being confined to a room, she becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper and believes a woman is trapped inside the paper. She eventually tears all the wallpaper off and says the woman is now free....

Words: 431 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Yellow Wallpaper

...Kimberly Powers Analysis and Theory on “The Yellow Wallpaper” March 25, 2014 Professor Langston The Yellow Wallpaper was published in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins is a short story of one woman’s decline into madness. It can also be viewed as an accusation of shrewdness over creativity or the horrifying inequality in marriage back in the 1890’s, it depicts that back in the 1890’s the societal pressures were placed on women. Charlotte writes this short story so that the reader can see the dangers of rest as a form of cure. She is trying to prove that the method does damage to a person. A woman suffering from post-partum depression is driven mad by her over baring husband who allows her to do nothing more than to merrily exist. Her husband treats her like a child and confines her to a house in the country. Her husband doesn’t think there is anything wrong with her and that it’s all in her mind, she tries to write but it exhausts her to hide it from everyone, she is forbidden to “work”.( pg 1 The Yellow Wallpaper) Her husband is a physician and leaves her alone so often to “work difficult cases in town”. They chose a bedroom that is at the top of the stairs and takes up most of the floor and the wallpaper that was hideous. She keeps starring at it day in and day out until it looks as if there is someone was moving behind it, the wallpaper drives her insane and she finally tears it down. Unfortunately her husband does not give her any support. Also she isn’t allowed to go......

Words: 445 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

...The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story about a woman named Jane, who writes in her journal about a summer home her and her husband will be staying at. Her husband John, who is a physician assures others that she only has temporary nervous depression. Because of her illness she is not supposed to do anything active, including writing. She feels that writing and having freedom can help her get better, so she begins to write in a secret journal. Particularly when she writes in her journal she describes a disgusting yellow wallpaper she sees in her room. She becomes fixated on the wallpaper and instead of hating it, grows fonder of it. She becomes more and more obsessed with it that she starts to see a woman trying to escape. As the summer goes on she continues to write about the yellow wallpaper, and the woman trying to escape from the paper. She has completely gone insane when her husband breaks down the door and faints at the site of her creeping around, and peeling off all the wallpaper. The theme behind this story is that lack freedom can lead to insanity. Throughout Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the elements of fiction conflicts, symbolism, and characters all represent the theme, that lack of freedom can lead one to insanity. The first element of fiction that connects with the theme that lack of freedom can lead to one’s insanity is the conflicts Jane faces throughout the story. The first main......

Words: 1172 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Women In The Yellow Wallpaper

...The unnamed female main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is put in an isolated mansion by her husband, a doctor, to help with her “nervousness” or hysteria. She is infantilized by being kept in a nursery and treated like a child by her husband. In addition to being patronized, she is also forbidden to work or even see her baby as it is believed she must solely rest. Her perceived as well-meaning husband gaslights her feelings and experiences, in an attempt to help reduce her “nervousness.” The main character’s disjointed, secretive journaling of her feelings represents her spiral into psychosis due to her isolation and treatment by her husband. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” reflects on the treatment of women’s mental health and how marriage and gender roles reinforce this treatment. At the beginning of the story, she describes how she is staying in a colonial mansion that is being let to them cheaply. She describes her husband’s disdain for all things that are not logical and...

Words: 1156 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Yellow Wallpaper Symbolism

...The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman about a woman suffering from postpartum depression, where she is under her husband’s orders in the mandatory resting cure in bed hopes to get rid of her illness. This leads to her slowly going insane from being locked in the yellow room with nothing to do. Gilman’s use of the color yellow can be seen as ironic because, while typically associated as being a cheerful, joyous and warm color. She uses the yellow room in ways one does not at first associate with the color, creating a powerful symbol for the different emotions displayed in the text. One of the emotions expressed by the color of yellow is acting cowardly. This can be seen throughout the story when Jane is...

Words: 545 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Literary Anaysyst of the Yellow Wallpaper

...Analysis on “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman was a writer and social activist during the late 1800s and early 1900s. She had a tough childhood. Her father, Frederick Beecher Perkins, but he abandoned the family, leaving Charlotte's mother to raise two children on her own. Gilman moved around a lot as a result and her education suffered greatly for it. Gilman married Charles Stetson in 1884 and the couple had a daughter named Katherine. Sometime during her ten year marriage to Stetson, Gilman experienced a severe depression and suffered a series of uncommon treatments for it. This experience is believed to have inspired her to the short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" (1892). The story takes the form of undisclosed journal entries written by a woman who is supposed to be recovering from what her husband, a physician, calls a "temporary nervous depression”. This haunting psychological horror story chronicles the narrator's descent into madness, or perhaps depending on your interpretation, into freedom. The author’s use of setting, conflict and point of view, provide this short story with the drama needed to capture the reader’s attention. The author begins the story using the key element setting to keep the readers mind in a constant roam. The narrator's view of the setting is colored by her limited and troubled perspective. She sees the yellow wallpaper in the room as a mostly evil and......

Words: 760 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Yellow Wallpaper

...The Yellow Wallpaper The narrator starts off the story by talking about a large old house. She and her husband John are on a summer vacation for three months at this house. The house is a large estate that has been empty for many years, she describes it as haunted. She goes on and says she is sick with temporary nervous depression, one of the reasons they are staying at this house is to help her feel better by getting her fresh air. The house is standing alone far back from the road and three miles from the village. There are gardens, small houses for grounds keepers, and old greenhouses surrounding the house they are staying in. The narrator’s treatment requires her not to do any physical activity including writing. The narrator feels that activity, freedom, and writing would help her condition and says that she has been writing her secret journal in order to relieve her mind. She continues to describe the house, but more specifically the room she is staying in. There are bars over the windows, “rings and things” on the walls, an old mattress that has been through the wars, and a horrid yellow wall paper that has been ripped in spots. Her husband John is very controlling of the narrator and what she does because of her illness. He is a doctor and is limiting things that his wife wants to do. The narrator likes using her imagination but her husband discourages it. She continues describing the bedroom; she thinks it was a nursery for young children. She......

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Mood Of The Yellow Wallpaper

...In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, just like group 3 mentioned in slide 2 that the mood gets sadder throughout the story, which I happen to think the same, I think the color that symbolizes this mood is the color brown. The person telling us this story lets us know that all she wanted to do was to change the wallpaper because it was driving her crazy but kept on being rejected by her husband, and it upsets her that he does not take her seriously. At first, the wallpaper was seen as “ugly” by the narrator but in the end, the wallpaper is seen as a symbol of the narrator’s oppression (group 3). Of course, the readers would sympathize with the narrator because she was “imprisoned” by someone who supposedly loved her, which makes the...

Words: 612 - Pages: 3