The yellow wallpaper

Essay by lov3joyCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2005

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"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. This story is about a woman who fights for her right to express what she feels, and fights for her right to do what she wants to do (Knight). 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. This story revolves around the main character, her oppressed life, and her search for freedom.

There are many male influences in this woman's life and although they may mean no harm, they push her over the edge. The main character's husband, John, and her brother are well-known physicians. They use their power to control the main character, perhaps subconsciously, to feel what they think a woman should feel.

The narrator shows how although she has a formed opinion 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"(pp. 16). 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. For example, the woman tells the men she is sick but they believe differently. "John is a physician, and perhaps- (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this...