Feminism In "The Yellow Wallpaper"

866 words - 3 pages

The Feminist View of the Yellow Wallpaper

The yellow wallpaper is a story about John and his wife who he keeps locked up due to her "nervous condition" of anxiety. John diagnoses her as sick and has his own remedy to cure her. His remedy s to keep her inside and deterring her from almost all activities. She is not allowed to write, make decisions on her own, or interact with the outside world. John claims that her condition is improving but she knows that it is not. She eats almost nothing all day and when it is suppertime she eats a normal meal. John sees this and proclaims her appetite is improving. Later in the story, the woman creates something of an imaginary friend trapped behind the horrible looking yellow wallpaper in the room, which her and john sleep. She watches this woman and in the end tries to free her by tearing down all the nasty looking wallpaper.

I think that a theme behind this story is the feminist views of the time. This woman is pretty much held captive by John, his sister and the housekeeper. This is shown when she says, "He is very careful loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction" (p. 12). She tries to make light of the situation by explaining how much John loves and cares about her but every time she tries to say something nice, it comes out making the situation seem worse. "It is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so." (p 23). "One expects that in marriage" (p. 9). This highlights the point that one should not be suffering in marriage because marriage is supposed to be symbolic of the love between two people allowing them to morally bear children. The woman remains nameless to show that there is no specific name, it is supposed to represent the woman of that time, many who were treated in similar ways, as lesser than males, who need to be looked after because they aren't as smart and are somewhat helpless. The times were hard for women; "John does not know how much I really suffer." (p. 14). John also treats her more like his daughter than his wife; "and calls me a blessed little goose" (p. 15), helps to show how he does this he also read her to sleep as you would an infant. Finally the room which John chooses for him and...

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