The definition of women within the text of "The Yellow Wallpaper", "The Story of an Hour", and "The Rise of the New Woman"

Essay by sftball16University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Charlotte Perkins-Gilman was born on July 3, 1860. She was born into poverty even though her extended family came from money. She attended a few years of formal education and spent most of her formative years with great aunts. These women were active in the suffragist movement and they had a very strong impact on Gilman. She went on to write "The Yellow Wallpaper" after suffering from a near nervous breakdown and being prescribed the "rest cure" by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell. This story eventually was published in The New England Magazine in May of 1892. She blamed the lack of stimulation for her condition, abandoned the instructions for the cure, and once she began writing again, she felt better. This aided in her writing the short story. Of course it was an exaggerated version of what had happened to her, but she felt that she needed to get her experience out into the public for other women to read.

The short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, is the main text that I would like to talk about for my paper. It was a pretty progressive text for the time and faced quite a bit of opposition from the public.

At the time of Gilman's illness, the common practice for treatment of depression was to be a lot of rest and virtually no physical or mental stimulation of any kind. This, for Gilman, translated into her not being able to read or write. This was very difficult for her. Also at this time, women were very much marginalized. They were forced to stay home and mind the children. It was very rare to see a married woman making important decisions regarding her life. Men had most of the control over their spouses during this period. This "rest cure" abandoned the real...