Essay on 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and Feminism

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The work of women writers in the 19th century is termed to have been very limited in both physical and artistic sense. Many facts can be attributed to that including politics of the time and the places of women in the society at the time. Women of that time saw the need to emancipate themselves from such restrictions using a strategic definition of self, art, and how society viewed them.

The 19th century saw Western societies to be dominated by men. Male creativity was the fashion that could exist at the time and this led to creative endeavors by the women of the time because the creativity gap created the foundations for the females of that time to prosper. Politics at that time inflicted greater damage on the wound by making women become inferior compared to their male counterparts.

In fact, the author of 'Yellow Wallpaper' clearly embroidered a common understanding of patriarchy: men had daughters and wives, in the same way they had children and those children also had brains just like their fathers and their husbands. The author's perception of the father figure clearly rains common ground, suggesting a patriarchal system that existed at the time.

This symbolism of paternity craft means that the only men who owned letters, and therefore women who tried to write, broke the stereotypical sedentary based on the comfort of slave femininity.

The setup of the Yellow Wallpaper evolves the feeling of intimacy. The diary contains three months whereby John starts the curing process for his wife through consecutive Weir Mitchell's treatment, which includes the idea that intellectual stimulation causes physical and psychological damage. In the beginning, his wife appears to be believable and reasonable but when we follow the events within the story we realize that it is implausible because of the blocking and inaccurate information. The writer overshadows the light of her mind in relation to the yellow wallpaper as she begins to discover life in the background inside the room where she had been locked. In fact, she believes that the wallpaper has two layers a frontal display and a mysterious figure rendered immovable behind bars.

On the last night as John had gone to the city to attend to a patient, she requested Jenny not to attend to her. When she was left alone on the previous day, she locked herself in the kindergarten so she could have enough time to peel the background in anticipation that the woman could be freed. John enters the room and finds her wife crawling on the torn sheets announcing that the woman behind the wallpaper is free. John faints immediately while his wife crawls onto his body that lays down.

A close analysis of the diary and the works of women of that time, we have a reflection of the social, political, and cultural meanings that were against female education, psychological, and creative growth which had intentions of keeping women childish and resonating. A close comparison to the woman in the attic, for instance, the personal mystery created by Austin and her confident attitude when it comes to her work, doesn’t show traces of decency. Instead, it reveals Austin‘s strategic plot to reject the world. Her characters are guided and inspired according to the normal social values and practices of that time, which underestimated their work.

In The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman distinctly repeats the sense of orientation, segregation, and imagination faced by Jane. Her relapse to madness in her narration came as being balanced led, even when she narrates seems impossible to reason with women crawling in the park. In other contexts, this story could be interpreted as a ghost story and not one about mental descent faced by Jane.

Gilman focused on making Jane a model to bring out the whole picture during this window of time. She relies on her husband John to be the breadwinner, one who decides the fate of Jane, one who bars her from engaging in intellectual activities or discussions and often gives a childlike treatment. However, Gilman fails to give a romantic sense of John but rather portrays her as an emotionally unavailable partner.

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By having perceptions of women, rooms, and ill-mannered faces in an immediate background, she further un-wits the readers into exposing Jane’s crazy and the mercy of horrid and supernatural beings.

All of these cases blew the minds of the readers when they realized that Jane was actually metaphorically talking about the events that took place in the diary and that it actually shows her sense of intellectual and emotional oppressors instead of depicting real women crawling across the floor in gardens or even moving behind the wallpaper in the room.

As a well-known feminist and social activist in the latter 19th century, Gilman mentioned that the reason women were perceived as second place status in society had nothing to do with biological inferiority reasons but rather a culturally oppressive behavior. In 1926 Gilman reaffirms that when girls read the “Yellow background” and take the shot her life changes and that they become the force that moves others who in turn will write their own story.

The 19th century characterized the fundamentals of customary laws for the conversion of women in society in the US. Women were recognized as property to their men and therefore had no direct legal control over what was theirs such as income, children, etc in fact in some laws women had restrictions to owning businesses and in most circumstances, it would require the consent of their husbands to own such businesses. Moreover, other laws pointed adultery wasn’t an insufficient reason for a divorce if it was committed by men but would pass as a reason if women committed it. Women were also restricted from voting; it was not until 1920 that they were allowed to, which it was adopted on 19 December 1999 (Spangler 249-255). It’s not a major surprise creativity was attributed to men alone. This whole situation paints a picture of the place of women of the time.

In the narrative, Shakespeare's sister Virginia Woolf evokes Shakespeare's sister Judith in the story. Judith was much loved by her father but was not in school or educated like her brother, instead, she studied at home. She mostly did house choirs, and she was in fact offered very little education. However she tried to study mostly by secretly reading books from her brothers, and then she would burn whatever she had written if her parents found out.

Over this period of time, women’s education was not considered important but rather men’s education was paramount.

She later married a man who treated her disrespectfully. Eventually, she got tired of it and went to London, where she trained as an actress. Once in London, she was criticized for her dream of becoming an actress. She invested in being an actress and her dreams came true, but it didn't last long because of the patriarchal nature of society until she ended her life (Spangler 249-255).

In 'The Awakening of Kate Chopin' (1899), the protagonist faces a serious social image similar to femininity, and finds no place among them, growing up on suicide (not madness, but the same escape). On another occasion, Mary Wilkins Freeman described in her story a woman named 'The Old Woman of Magon,' who allowed her beloved granddaughter to die instead of an inconclusive gamble in the ticket deal. She was one of many who publicly discovered that misogyny was destroying women.

In her play, Susan Glaspell highlights Gilman‘s The Yellow Paper focuses on the mental health of a mother who later endures mental disintegration. This deduction gives attention to mothers aspiring to engender artistic work and problems encountered when addressing their dual identities as conceivers of both children and ideas.


Although they became the most famous female writers of the 19th century, not historically recognized, male critics despise female poetry for their 'trivia' and 'melodramatic' attitudes to intellectual themes. Blackmore, who criticized literature and poems, sees Emily Dickinson's work as a spectacle of her work as the norm of domestic work, which equates to cooking and

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