The Yellow Wallpaper
Importance of “The Yellow Wallpaper” In the 19th century society was from different from what it is today. Ladies were not in the workforce, could not vote, or perhaps have a say in anything. Females were not allowed to provide proof in court, nor, did they can speak in public before an audience. When a woman married, her hubby lawfully owned all she had (including her profits, her clothes and jewelry, and her children). If he died, she was entitled to only a 3rd of her other half’s estate. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wished to change this. She desired people to understand the predicament of females in the 19th century.
In her narrative The Yellow Wallpaper she tries to convey this to the reader not just on a literal level, however through different signs in the story. In The Yellow Wallpaper the author utilizes symbols to reveal limitations on females, lack of public interaction, the struggle for equality, and the possibilities of the female sex during the 1800s. The yellow wallpaper itself is one of the biggest symbols in the story. It can be interpreted to symbolize many aspects of the narrator. The wallpaper represents the mental block imply attempted to put on females during the 1800s.
The color yellow is typically related to illness or weak point, and the narrator’s mysterious health problem is an example of the male oppression on the narrator. The wallpaper in fact makes the storyteller more “ill” as the story progresses. The yellow wallpaper, of which the writer declares, “I never saw a worse paper in my life,” is a sign of the psychological screen that guys attempted to implement upon females. Gilman writes, “The color is ugly enough, and unreliable enough, and irritating enough, but the pattern is torturing” this is a symbolic metaphor for limitations placed on females.
The author is stating subliminally that the denial of equality for women by males is a “hideous” act, which when guys do appear to give ladies some procedure of that equality, it is often “undependable.” The use of the words “frustrating” and “torturing” are also descriptions of the sensations of ladies in 19th century society. Another big symbol is the storyteller’s lack of public interaction. It signifies ladies being out of the public eye in the time period. Ladies were needed to stay within and tend to your house and kids.
They didn’t belong in federal government, in the workplace, or outside at all. They were to housekeep and can only wonder. Charlotte Perkins Gilman stresses this a lot in the story. In the story the writer states that she is almost strictly prohibited to do any kind of “work” by both her husband and sibling. Here the word work is taken into parenthesis by the author, utilizing work to symbolize any type of intellectual or independent interaction with the public. During the 1800s a woman alone and in public, no matter what her factor, was seen as a harlot.
The author then specifies that, “Personally, I think that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me great”. Here Gilman gives her personal viewpoint, saying that if females were thought about equals and allowed to do the tasks that men did, the female sex would be much better for it. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was clearly a supporter of women’s suffrage. She utilizes many signs in the story to focus the women’s battle for equality. She makes it seem an uphill battle. The author writes of going to stay at a summertime house with her hubby, John, a doctor, which she is sick.
While she feels there is an illness within her, her partner and sibling, both doctors, assure her that there is absolutely nothing wrong. This is symbolic of ladies of the 1800s struggling for equality, while being ignored and oppressed by males. On the exact same page, the author states: “I sometimes elegant that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus- however John says the really worst thing I can do is to consider my condition, and I confess it constantly makes me feel bad.” Here the author is composing of males’s resistance of equality. Less opposition and more society and stimulus” is clearly an indication of the aspirations of women’s suffrage. “However John states the really worst thing I can do is to think about my condition” is the writer’s statement that when women try to free themselves from the limiting bonds of society, males oppress them and enforce the concept that they are inferior, almost to the point of brainwashing. This “brainwashing” is reflected in the next statement, “I admit it always makes me feel bad.” Some women had actually been raised on the reality they were inferior to males and some accepted it.
This appears to occur to the storyteller of the story. This is a statement worrying the females who protested ladies’s suffrage, pointing out that men were the more intelligent species and that female’s place was listed below that of male’s. The possibilities of any human are unlimited. Charlotte Perkins Gilman knew this and wanted females to understand this. In the story the description of the two windows and the view from them by the author is a representation of the possibilities of the female sex, and how those possibilities were restricted and limited by males during the 19th and into the 20th century.
The first view is described as “I can see the garden, those mysterious deep-shaded arbor, the riotous old-fashioned flowers, and bushes and gnarly trees.” The “garden” is a clear sign of the earth, or society, and using “strange” shows that the possibilities that females have are undiscovered to them. In the next view the author explains seeing a “beautiful view of the bay” and a “personal wharf belonging to the estate.” The bay is a reference to the uncharted area of womankind’s abilities and the private estate is clearly suggesting the sections of society forbidden to women.
The description of seeing “individuals walking in the numerous courses and arbors” is the concept of ladies seeing the acts of males, and realizing that those tasks are not out of their abilities. “John has warned me not to pave the way to fancy in the least” is an extremely clear declaration of the male opinion that ladies might not do the work of guys, and that the attempt would be absurd. Making use of “nervous weak point” as explained by John worrying the writer is an addition to the previous reference of guy’s opinion of ladies during this time, seeing females as frail and weak.
Throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Gilman uses numerous symbols to reveal the injustice of ladies by guys, and the continuing struggle to leave that injustice. The 3 main symbols that run throughout the story provide the most support to this. The yellow wallpaper is an indication of the psychological restrictions that were put upon ladies by men throughout the 1800s. As yellow is frequently thought about the color of illness or weakness, the sickness that the author suffers from is the continuing oppression and struggle that continues to this very day by females.
Gilman reveals that the possibilities of females are as large as those of male, which throughout the 19th century those possibilities were seriously restricted. This is revealed through the descriptions of the two windows and the view from each. The writer sees other doing acts she might do herself, simply as females saw acts of male that they might do with the same level of proficiency. Completely, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a declaration of the oppression of the female sex by humanity.