The Yellow Wall Paper Essay Research Paper

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The Yellow Wall Paper Essay, Research Paper “The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story of a woman, her psychological difficulties and her husband’s so called therapeutic treatment of her aliments during the late 1800s. The story begins with a young woman and her husband traveling to the country for the summer and for the healing powers of being away from writing which just seems to worsen her condition. Upon reading this intense description of an almost prison like prescription for overcoming “temporary nervous depression” the reader is permeated with the idea the men are nothing more than the wardens in the lives of women. Gilman does well throughout the story to show with descriptive phrases just how easily and effectively, the man

’seemingly’ wields his ‘maleness’ to control the woman. But, with further interpretation and insight I believe Gilman succeeds in nothing more than showing the weakness of women, of the day, as active persons in their own as well as society’s decision making processes instead of the strength of men as women dominating machines. From the beginning of the story forward the narrator speaks of how her husband and other influential men in her life direct her so that she will recover quickly and I believe this to be the initial sign that the feminist perspective will be presented throughout. The narrator shows how although she has a formed opinion (and probably successful idea for her treatment), she is still swayed by her husband’s direction with the following passage,

“I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus–but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad.” Her husband seems to be the one who can change her thoughts because of his ‘maleness’ or the fact that he is her husband. Nonetheless, a member of the opposing sex is still suppressing her. With a further look into this passage though, I believe that this again is nothing more than a sign of the inabilities of the narrator. I don’t believe her sex to be the cause of her suppression it is her lack of understanding of not only herself, but of how to successfully make others aware of what is best for herself. The narrator also speaks many times in a manner,

which suggests that because a man speaks she have no means by which to disagree with him because she is a woman, yet, another feminist tact. A perfect example of this is presented in the beginning passages of the story, where the narrator states “Personally, I disagree with their (her husband’s and brother’s) ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” This last sentence “but what is one to do?” Exemplifies wonderfully her oppressed female stature in the society of her life. The proceeding passage is yet another display of the woman’s ineptness with self-esteem. If the woman would just take a moment to assess the fact that she is quite possibly right about her own recovery even though she is

a woman the conflict would immediately taken from the sexist realm to a realm of inner-conflict, which is were I believe many of the topics covered in this story belong. The final passages of the story, at last, successfully manifest a display of power and possible regain of self-governance through the narrator’s finally standing up to her husband by locking him out of the room in which he has imprisoned her supposedly for her benefit. Whereupon, for the first time in the story he must listen to her entreaties to discover where the key is hidden. The proceeding assessment of the final moments of the story could quite possibly be a successful way in which the author intended to say much, after the fact, of how she understood the need for a woman to stand up for her rights even