The Yellow Wallpaper and Feminism
In the 19th century, male chauvinism was the dominant social concept in America. In the domestic environment, women needed to comply with to men. Women might not breach what males asked to do and this overbearing environment had crucial impacts on how females perceived themselves and their functions in society. It was very unfair to all the women at that period of history. Nevertheless, with the steady development of feminism, some females started to advocate the gender equality and resist the male chauvinism.
The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a classic feminism work of art. It was a story about a married woman who struggled with psychological depression and was rebellious to her controlling husband. Her partner, who was a doctor, had the family relocate to a house in order to treat her other half’s nerve issue with a rest therapy. With the requirement to rest and not do anything, she established misconception over the physical environment of the room. The yellow wallpaper in the room became her obsession and source of fear in creativity.
Although some individuals considered this story as a psychological or scary story, it definitely was a story of feminism because the female in the novel had a hard time to break away from her other half constraining all her activities, and she was seeking flexibility and independence for her own life. For that reason, the Yellow Wallpaper exposed the darkness of the male chauvinism, and the author tried to awaken ladies to seek freedom. She promoted the consciousness of independence in order to accomplish ladies’s individual liberty for expression and option.
To start with, Gilman presented the domestic environment as a jail for women and this oppressive environment might be embodied in the old nursery home. In the story, the storyteller was organized to move into a house in order to have the fresh air and great rest for her nerve problem. However, this big home looked very “unusual” and “queer”. From the start, the lady felt there was “something weird about your house. “( 239) When her stress and anxiety about the location grew, she started to discover the likewise “unusual yellow” of the wallpaper in her room.
Therefore, although your home was expected to be a resting place for the storyteller to recover from her illness, it turned out to be a place that she never felt like home. As a matter of reality, it was more like a prison than a house. When explaining the information of your home environment, she discussed your home used to be a nursery for kids and “the windows are disallowed for kids, and there are rings and things in the walls. “( 239) She went on to detail about how awful and repellent the wallpaper was: “the color is repellent, practically revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.
It is a dull yet lurid orange in some locations, a sickly sulphur tint in others. “( 240) Here the attention was offered to the color of the wallpaper. All of these words, such as “repellent”, “revolting”, “unclean” and “faded”, showed how the narrator perceived the environment as something that was contradictory to the purpose of a resting house. The narrator never concerned this house as a relaxing location. On the contrary, it was more like a restricting prison space which just made her health problem even worse.
When inquired about the purpose of composing the novel, Gilman admitted that she did not wish to see the rest remedy misguide the treatment. She pointed out that “it has to my understanding saved one ladies from a similar fate. “(Gilman) It seemed clear that the rest treatment became rather a prison-style confinement method. Gilman wrote the unique to expose the negative impact of this cruel method. For that reason, putting a female in a resting location seemed the purpose of oppression and constraint, which is never to the advantage of a lady suffering from mental disorder. This physical environment represented the injustice to ladies in those history.
Secondly, John’s treatment of the storyteller likewise embodies in the social constraints on women and the unequal relationship between the male and the female in the 19th century society. As a spouse and a doctor, John appeared to show a great deal of concerns for his other half by organizing your home for her to recuperate from illness and preparation practically everything for her. He thought what he did was all helpful and reasonable for his wife. However, the relationship was never ever equal. John was always informing the narrator what was ideal to do and what was not.
When the storyteller told John that she liked writing, the answer from John was “he dislikes to have me compose a word,”( 240) due to the fact that he thought it was bad for her recovery. Also, when arranging her partner’s everyday activities, John “thought it might do me great to see a little company, so we just had Mom and Nellie and the kids down for a week. “( 242) During the progress of the narrator’s recovery, John decided “if I do not pick up faster he will send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. “( 242 )
Opposing to the narrator’s concept of going out and living an active life, John said again “it benefits me, and to sleep all I can. (246 ). These were many examples in the novel about how John was making decisions for his better half about what to do and even what to think. Although the storyteller took it as an expression of the love from her spouse at the start, it slowly became something that was constraining and even frightening. As the storyteller stated, she started “getting a little afraid of John” with the increasing demands from John on her everyday activities.
It lastly specified that the narrator concerned recognize John “pretended to be extremely caring and kind” with all sorts of concerns. 249) At this minute, John love had turned into a chain in the cover of compassion and concern. Greg Johnson, in his analysis of Gilman’s unique from the point of view of “Gothic allegory”, completely made the point that John “applies his tyrannical control in the guise of protectiveness makes the narrator feel all the more stifled and prevents straight-out defiance.” (Johnson, 521) It ended up being clear that concealing behind the love and care for his other half was the true sense of supremacy and oppression, which was often taken for given by not just John but likewise most males residing in that time.
Therefore, John’s treatment of his better half represents the male-dominant society and the injustice of females because social history. Finally, the storyteller’s efforts to break herself out of the depressive domestic environment embodied her resistance to the male chauvinism’s society, though her resistance ended up in a disaster. Despite the mindful plans of the hubby in the story, the storyteller was never ever submissive to the environment. She had actually rebellious ideas shown in her body from the beginning and this concept reached its high point in the end with her fight with the environment.
The strong sense of herself and individual position could be found in the beginning of the novel, when the narrator shared some of her opposing ideas about the rest treatment and medicine treatment from the partner and her sibling. She stated, “personally, I disagree with their concepts. Personally, I think that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me excellent. “( 238) Here the storyteller had some independent concepts about what was really helpful for her.
While the narrator was constantly forbidden to write by her other half, she still felt that “I should say what I feel and believe in some way-it is such a relief! (239) For her, keeping a note of her experiences and feelings was a terrific remedy for the restraints from both the physical environment and the control of her hubby. That was the only time she seemed like being herself and being free. The last confrontation with John and the physical environment came in the end of story, when the storyteller concerned the psychological status of revealing aggressively.
She attempted to bite off a piece of the bed and “removed all the paper she might reach standing on the flooring. (250) When John finally had the door open, the narrator looked at him over her shoulder and stated, “I have actually gone out at last in spite of you and Jane. And I have actually pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” (251) Here though being insane, the storyteller was finally challenging the male who had been controlling her in the name of an other half and a doctor. By tearing the yellow wallpaper, the storyteller symbolically set herself free from the restriction of the room and John. This was her method of resistance versus John and the male-dominated society.
Feldstein also argued that the female in the novel “reacts by withstanding his authority in lots of methods, feigning sleep in the evening, pretending not to write, and declining to respond to his treatment.” (Feldstein 269)For that reason, the resistance becomes a concealed thing appearing in different details of the story. Some might argue that the madness in the end may not be quite feminist, the symbolic significance of creeping over John and leaving the space ended up being the high point of the resistance. All in all, “The Yellow Wallpaper” represented a traditional feminist allegory from various point of views.
All the story offered the example of how ladies were limited by men in doing everything and they could not freely reveal their feelings. First of all, Gilman explained the domestic environment as jail to the narrator in order to display the oppression to women from men in that duration of history. Although John took care of his better half quite, it was not what she desired. In addition, the author explained how John treated his other half as an individual without any thinking and reasoning ability.
John’s treatment of the narrator displayed the social inequality between women and guys. Finally, the author described how the storyteller resisted her partner throughout the story. It indicated that females’s position in the 19th century was extremely low and they had no power to speak about what they desired. Therefore, dealing with the male chauvinism, their resistance could be deemed illogical or unreasonable thinking. This ultimately caused the terrible ending of the storyteller in this story.