Feminist analysis of the yellow wallpaper

A feminist text will be written by a woman, and it will point out deficiencies in society regarding equal opportunity, and the reader will typically be aware of this motive. In a work of fiction, the main character, or heroine, personifies the social struggle against male domination. By late 20th century standards, the behavior of John, the husband, seems eerily inappropriate and restrictive, but was considered quite normal in the 19th century. Charlotte and her brother grew up in an unhappy, cheerless home.

Feminist analysis of the yellow wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a feminist and a creative writer who wrote a compelling short story entitled The Yellow Wallpaper.

Originally published in The New England Magazine in under her maiden name Stetson; feminism, individuality and symbolism are brought to the forefront thus taking the reader through the process of mental breakdown due to societal oppression and a paternalistic culture.

Everything is filtered through her changing consciousness, yet the ambiguity allows one to decipher its many meanings. The wallpaper is a text that the protagonist has to interpret; as its symbolism develops she feels repulsed then obsessed.

Not physical pain […] mental torment. After Gilman published her semi-autobiographical tale, Dr. Deciding to keep a secret journal, the protagonist starts to fantasise and hide her true thoughts. There is a division in her consciousness; confusing her mind Feminist analysis of the yellow wallpaper to what is real and what is fantasy?

My brother is also a physician […] he says the same thing. Her second side is the one who needs to break free and be creative and individual. The misogynistic views in the story force the protagonist to keep her feelings and imagination private — from John, her brother and Dr Mitchell — as they state this is why she is ill.

She knows they are wrong but continually represses her feelings not being able to speak out against the oppression. As the obsession with the wallpaper grows, it becomes the focal point of her haunting story describing it as Dull enough to confuse the eye […] constantly irritate[s] and provoke[s] study, [having] lame uncertain curves [that] commit suicide [and] destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.

The colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow. The chaotic patterns reflect her state of mind: In the story the house is not her own and feeling imprisoned there she cannot express her creativity. Dramatization of imprisonment and escape are so all-pervasive in nineteenth- century literature by women […] works [use] houses as primary symbols of female imprisonment Gilbert and Gubar, Instead, she highlights that women go insane due to the social and economic conditions imposed and their continuous fight against repression and for individuality.

In particular, the weight gain […] was a kind of pseudo pregnancy. Paula Treichler suggests that the wallpaper is an imaginary text the protagonist created as a metaphor for societal pressures.

Treichler continues to argue that diagnosed depression in nineteenth- Page 5 Lea Weller - century women imposed too many restrictions on the patient. Her journal gives her relief and records her impending breakdown.

Feminist analysis of the yellow wallpaper

She focuses on the woman skulking behind the pattern; representing her own inability to air her concerns.

Does the protagonist feel resentment for the child who is the reason for her illness? She feels watched over by the wallpaper, John and his sister Jennie — who revels in the societal oppression; angering her as she Page 6 Lea Weller - cannot be a traditional wife and mother and feels strangled and suffocated within her marriage.

Part of True Womanhood values is said to be the worship of children; Gilman criticises this idea in her story and feelings towards her child are unexplored.

Does this show in the wallpaper? Were the previous occupants also imprisoned in this room until insanity took over? Did they dig and scratch their way out?

Treichler has adopted the shared view that, the skulking woman is a representation of women at the time: A feminist view of this implies that the social and economic Page 7 Lea Weller - conditions at the time had the power to drive not just the protagonist, but Gilman, Woolf and many women, to madness.

Treichler continues to argue that the wallpaper represents the protagonists Mind, […] unconscious, [and] the "pattern" of social and economic dependence which reduces women to domestic slavery.

This patriarchal control shows a striking consequence to non- conforming women in society. The protagonist shares her suffering with the reader: There was a total disempowerment of women in the nineteenth-century including their lack of rights such as not being allowed out of the house, being subject to domestic slavery and not being allowed to express their creativity.

Through the use of symbolism, Gilman covertly investigates the wallpaper and the insanity of the protagonist when writing her harrowing tale.Feminist Analysis of Yellow Wallpaper Words | 6 Pages A Woman Trapped: A Feminist Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper The short story, the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman can be analyzed in depth by both the psycho-analytic theory and the feminist theory.

 Feminist Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper Feminist Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper Feminist criticism is an analysis of literature from the female perspective.

It can be a tool for stories that tell female experiences and how storytelling impacts women. A Woman Trapped: A Feminist Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper The short story, the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman can be analyzed in depth by both the psycho-analytic theory and the feminist theory.

The Yellow Wallpaper – Feminist Analysis. Print Reference this. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers.

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Feminist Criticism, "The Yellow Wallpaper," and the Politics of Color in America Created Date: Z.

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