The opression of women in A jury of her peer and The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman and “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell have plots of very different naturesin one, a psychologically disturbed female is required to a reclusive home to recuperate while in the other, a woman is implicated of killing her husband. However, one common thread that the stories share is the concept of how ladies at this time are treated or anticipated to act by others. “The Yellow Wallpaper” explains the life of a lonesome woman whose lack of contact with anyone aside from her hubby triggers her to establish a growing fascination with the wallpaper in her bedroom. On the contrary, in “A Jury of Her Peers,” Minnie Foster, a woman implicated of eliminating her neglectful other half is never formally presented, as she is in prison while the story takes place. The story rather follows 2 homemakers, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, who occur to come across Mrs. Foster’s infatuation her beloved dead pet. It might seem that the main character in “The Yellow Wall Paper” and Minnie Foster in “A Jury of Her Peers” are dealt with in entirely various methods by those around them as one woman is coddled by her other half while Minnie Foster is ignored by hers, however in truth, both stories highlight the lonesome and obsessive propensities of females in isolation as well as the guilt they feel when they can not measure up to society’s expectations of them.

Although the spouses of Minnie Foster and the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” had different intentions for the treatment of their wives, both ladies end up sensation dispirited and lonesome. John, the husband of the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” brings his wife out to a faraway house in order to cure her of the “short-lived nervous anxiety” and “minor hysterical propensity” that he, as a physician, has actually recommended her with (74 ). As part of his treatment, he informs her that she is “not enabled to work” (74) up until she is well again. Although John’s demand demonstrates the chauvinistic propensities of men at the time, he genuinely thinks that his methods will treat his partner. Unlike the storyteller in the previous story, Minnie Foster, a controversial figure and thought killer in “A Jury of Her Peers” invests the majority of her time in her home not because her other half is attempting to help her, but since she doesn’t have excellent relationships with him or anybody else. Likewise to the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Minnie Foster’s home is a “lonely looking place” (Glaspell, 155) nevertheless, Minnie spends most of her time there doing housework or farming while her hubby is out at work. The description of Minnie’s house as “lonesome” further highlights Mrs. Wright’s privacy. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” John ensures that his wife avoids human contact, including their own kid, and when the storyteller asked him if her cousins could visit, she remembers that “he states he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow case regarding have those promoting people about me now” (Gilman, 78). Comparing his wife’s cousins to “fireworks” assists to show how unsafe he feels they will be to her. Antithetically, in “A Jury of Her Peers,” the two ladies at Minnie’s house discuss her husband, calling him “a difficult man” and regreting how he was out at work all day and “no business when he did be available in” (167 ). Although John’s treatment is extreme, he truthfully believes that he is curing his other half. Nevertheless, the storyteller’s seclusion still makes her feel depressed and lonely, as she confesses to “weep at nothing, and cry most of the time,” (Gilman, 79) while in “A Jury of Her Peers” the ladies’s compassion and their portrayal of Mr. Wright as “no business” to his partner suggests Mrs. Wright’s loneliness is an outcome of her husbands neglectfulness.

Regardless of both ladies feeling dissatisfied and alone, they are still anticipated to keep the mindsets and duties of “the cult of domesticity” and feel guilty when they can not measure up to those expectations. Women at this time were expected to be submissive, pious, pure, and handle all of the domestic aspects of family life. These expectations can be seen when the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” writes in her journal that “John states the worst thing I can do is to consider my condition, and I admit it constantly makes me feel bad” (75 ). The narrator’s admission of guilt for disobeying her husbands orders highlights that she feels the requirement to stay submissive and unopinionated, even concerning matters about her own health. Minnie Foster, on the other hand, feels the requirement to follow a different branch of the cult of domesticity as she aims to finish her domestic duties such as farm work, cleaning up your house, and knitting, in spite of being unhappy and lonely. During the investigation of Minnie’s kitchen area, Mrs. Peters opens the cabinet to find messed up fruit and tells Mrs. Hale that Minnie had actually been “worried” that it would spoil “when it got so cold last night” (Glaspell, 159). Right after this discovery, the group was walking Minnie’s disheveled kitchen and found some filthy washcloths, which causes the constable, Mrs. Peter’s hubby, to conclude that Minnie was “not much of a maid” (160 ). Minnie’s “worry” about her fruit while she is spending the night in prison shows she feels guilty that she could not finish her domestic duties and highlights that females at this time were socialized to constantly be cognizant of these responsibilities so as not to be perceived as unladylike by people such as Mr. Peters. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is also focused on her domestic obligations, as seen in the future in the story. When she is actually beginning to end up being haunted by the wallpaper in her room, she attempts to tell John how she feels, but he silences her with a “stern, reproachful look” (Gilman, 82). He then advances to tell her that she requires to get better, “for my sake, and for our kid’s sake, along with your own” so his other half then “said no more” on the subject (82 ). The storyteller’s instant silence is caused by not only John’s mention of their child, but likewise the “reproachful look” that he gives her, highlighting both her understanding of the importance of her function as a housewife and mother and the regret she feels for not being able to meet those duties although she is ill. In spite of being lonesome and unhappy, both Minnie Foster and the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” are anticipated to be normal, submissive homemakers.

Although Minnie Foster remains in more of a social seclusion while the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” remains in a physical seclusion, both ladies establish unhealthy fixations during this time due to absence of contact with the outdoors world. Since the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is not enabled to see anyone except her other half, she develops a strange relationship with the wallpaper in her bedroom. She confesses to “watch it constantly” (83) and although she was at very first scared of it, she quickly grows to like the space not regardless of, however “because of the wallpaper” (79 ). The storyteller’s change of sensations towards the wallpaper represent the beginning of a relationship that exceeds the regular bond in between human beings and things. Minnie Foster, on the other hand, is not physically separated from other people as she has neighbors and a partner, however she does feel socially gotten rid of from them. Due to her lack of friends, Minnie establishes a friendship with her bird that rather looks like the narrator’s relationship to her wallpaper, as it acts as a replacement for relationships with other human beings. Likewise to this, in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the storyteller’s desperate need for friendship drives her to encourage herself that she can see a lady “sneaking about behind that pattern” (81) and suddenly she begins to see her “out of every one of my windows” (85 ). Therefore, the night prior to her and John are set up to leave the house, she ends up being so desperate to discover this elusive lady that she is willing to tear apart the entire room. In her journal, she remembers that “I pulled and she shook” (86) the wallpaper in an attempt to release her. This imagery explains the 2 collaborating, which reveals that the storyteller sees this woman as someone who can keep her business, plainly an outcome of her lack of contact with genuine individuals. Minnie Foster has a similarly crazy response when her husband eliminates her bird, as she ends up being so angered that she “choked the life out of him,” (Glaspell, 170) killing him in the exact same way he killed her bird. Minnie’s obsessive relationship with her bird in addition to the not likely relationship the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” discovers show how women cope with various kinds of isolation and how far they want to go when the relationships they establish are threatened.

By comparing the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Minnie in “A Jury of Her Peers” it is simpler to comprehend their intentions for the desperate acts they are both driven to at the end of the stories. Although the two females had various backgrounds as one was an enjoyed wife and mom while the other had been ignored and lonesome, both females lost their sanity at the ends of their stories. Their acts of desperation suggest that maybe it was not merely their loneliness that propelled them to seek out friends in odd locations and commit acts of murder or madness, but also the guilt of not living up to the expectations that society had of them.

You Might Also Like