In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, her individual experiences with postpartum depression was used to produce effective fictional narrative which has broad significance for females. When the narrator recognizes that there is more than one caught, sneaking female, Gilman shows that the meaning of her story extends beyond a private matter. The character behind the wallpaper is a representation of the impact that being confined by the continuous subordination of ladies in the age from marriage inequality and gender stereotypes that leave ladies limited and unsatisfied has.The out of balance relationship between the storyteller and John is a microcosm of the larger gender inequality in society.
The author makes it clear that much of John’s condescending and paternal behavior towards his other half has little to do with her disease but her gender. He dismisses her well-thought-out opinions and belittles her innovative impulses. He speaks of her as he would a child, calling her his “little lady” and saying of her, “Bless her little heart.” He overlook her judgments on the very best course of treatment for herself. Johns conceit and instinct to control forces the narrator to live in a space she detests, and in a separated environment which makes her unhappy and lonesome. John’s “care” shows his support for theories which firmly insist that females’s natural inferiority leaves them, childlike, in a state of dependence.Gilman makes John the window through which readers can see the negative pictures of women in society at the time.
In Gilman’s era, ladies’s right to vote and become full residents with the exact same rights as men turned into one of the primary concerns disputed in the house, the media, and the political arena. As females’s reform movements gained the strength and eventually win the vote in 1920. The reaction towards females became more vicious and unsafe. Psychologists detailed theories that “proven” females’s immaturity, low cognitive abilities, along with mental and mental illness. Physicians, who really had little understanding of the inner workings of the female body, provided complex theories arguing that a lady’s womb produced madness which it was the primary source of ladies’s inability. Ministers prompted ladies to meet their task to God and their spouses with equivalent submission. By utilizing John’s purchasing from treatment of the narrator, Gilman prosecutes the system as a whole, in which lots of women were trapped behind societies damaging definitions of being female.
The audience can see the unfavorable impacts of John’s (and society’s) treatment towards the narrator in her action to the rest treatment. Initially, she tries to fight against the growing health problem that controls her. She even challenges John’s treatment of her. Yet, while one part of her may believe John is wrong, another part that has actually considered the unfavorable meanings of womanhood believes that because he is the male, the physician, and therefore the authority, then he might be right. Since they hold unequal power positions in the relationship and in society, she lacks the nerve and self-esteem to maintain her will over his even though she understands that his “treatment” is hurting her. Deprived of any meaningful activity, function, and self-definition, the narrator’s mind ends up being baffled and, predictably, childlike in its fascination with the shadows in the wallpaper. This assists the reader to comprehend the circumstance she is handling by demonstrating how empowering the husband is and how the although he is a physician, the treatment he is allegedly “curing” her with ends up being doing the opposite and in fact intensifying her case.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman Short story the author utilizes the character John to represent the crucial style of women’s mistreatment in the era. She uses the novel to raise awareness to her readers that rejecting women complete humanity threatens to women, family, and society as a whole.