Analysys of Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Essay by omniromHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2005

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Dear Mr. Scudder:

I wholeheartedly disagree with you, Mr. Scudder, on your position of not publishing Charlotte Gilman's wonderful story, "The Yellow Wallpaper." "The Yellow Wallpaper," isn't a story which would "[make] others miserable." Rather, it's an inspiring story for young women to break free from the patriarchal shackles which confine them. This story's underlying feminist themes prove to be quite fascinating, and thus this story deserves to be published in the Atlantic Monthly for the masses to enjoy. Because our society is still dominated by much unfair masculine oppression, we need to break free from this mindset and strive for feminine equality. Ultimately, I feel that you should reconsider publishing Gilman's story, for it's predominant feminist tones, as seen through the room itself, the woman behind the wallpaper, and John's untimely collapse, amalgamate to form a truly captivating story.

One of the most intriguing themes presented in Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" proves to be the underlying feminist tones which dominate the story, as seen through the nursery itself.

The story is an exemplification of a young woman's life and her struggle to escape the fascist dominance of a patriarchal society, a theme which can intriguingly be seen as correlating with Gilman's own life. From the opening of the story, Jane is oppressed by her tyrannical husband, John, who confines her to an old, empty nursery. The windows of the nursery are barred, making it not only a childhood retreat but also a prison. While John confines Jane to her bed, the bed is nailed to the floor, further confining Jane in a static position. The nursery additionally has important significance, for the author is stating the Jane is being treated like a little child, even when she has a child...