Research essay 1

Essay by sillybillyCollege, UndergraduateC, November 2014

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Sanjay Mahadeo

Essay 1


Gender Inequality; A Woman's Battle Analyzed

'The Yellow Wallpaper' written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an intriguing short story of a miserable woman who was locked away as if she was mentally insane. When considering feminism in the 19th century and the essential issues of "a woman's role" in society, this story's importance is remarkable. The story starts off with the narrator telling us of her depression and how it is often dismissed by both her brother and her husband, both of whom are doctors. "You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?"(Gilman). Like many other men and women in the 19th century we can tell that the narrator's mind is consumed by conventional patriarchal feelings. She does not even question her brother or her husband's conclusion about her health, she blindly accepts what they tell her. After the narrator explains her suspicions of her new house to the readers she tells us her husband's input on her ideas, "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage."(Gilman).

This sentence in its entirety shows how easily the narrator's feelings and ideas can be shot down by her husband, it basically points out the male laughing while the woman is simply consenting. The narrator's husband acts like the dominant, bossy, but also loving parent whereas throughout the story he treats her like a little girl. "'What is it, little girl?' he said. 'Don't go walking about like that - you'll get cold.'"(Gilman). The husband talks to the narrator as if she is a little baby that needs special attention while making it look like he cares about her dearly but then hits her with a command right after.

The 19th century set a standard image for women,