The problem she faces though, is that the men in her life can not believe that she does not want what they feel every woman should want: domesticity. She could not have this. She creates a character disguised as her self in the hope that she can exorcise the demons she faces through this character. Gilman, The Man-Made World, 136. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1991 64-79. Their insights into the reasons for the mental decline of the female protagonists in these stories have lent credence to the thesis that oppression is a key cause in the problems these women faced. And if the narrator's text is also the text of her culture, then it is no wonder that the wallpaper exceeds her ability to decipher it.
It is the story of an unnamed woman confined by her doctor-husband to an attic nursery with barred windows and a bolted-down bed. She is going mad; this is the mad woman in the attic, but she is not scared. All of these perspectives have one thing in common — they all point back to the issue of oppression of women. The narrator has become so infatuated with the woman inside the wallpaper, that she begins watching the wallpaper at every waking moment. Elizabeth Flynn and Patrocinio Schweikart Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 19861, 147-64. But literary scholar Jane F. It was also part of our mission to work as critics to try to educate public taste so as to be better able to make esthetic discriminations among contemporary works-in particular, to develop appreciation for neglected writers and to re- examinethe work of those whose reputations had become overinflated.
Horowitz argues that these sources ultimately reveal that Gilman's great story emerged more fromemotions rooted in the confinement and tensions of her unhappy marriage than from distress following Mitchell's rest cure. Gilman, Moving the Mountain, in Forerunner 2 March 1911 : 80. One specific characteristic of the house that symbolizes not only her potential but also her trapped feeling is the window. See, for example, Dictionary of American Slang, ed. This house is isolated from society, since the short story indicates that it is far from village, roads or any means of communication.
This also means that the conscious biographical experience which Gilman claims as the authen- ticating source of the story is but one contributing element. In The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte… 1326 Words 6 Pages A Woman Trapped: A Feminist Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper The short story, the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman can be analyzed in depth by both the psycho-analytic theory and the feminist theory. So when the narrator destroys the paper and pulls it down in the end, it might be symbolic of the destruction of her other self. Esther is not happy with her station in life. In fact, she would rather be left alone completely so that she can concentrate on the task at hand, which is to rip the paper from the walls, figuratively ripping the bars from her prison.
Their marriage falls apart, and John loses his wife to madness, the very thing he had tried to avoid. The story of The Yellow Wallpaper has been the subject of numerous critical reviews since its first publication in 1892. Women in Literature and Life 4 Fall 1995. In designating gender as the foundation for two very different critical activities, feminist criticism has embraced contradictory theories of literature, proceeding as if men's writings were ideological sign systems and women's writings were representations of truth, reading men's or masculinist texts with resistance and women's or feminist texts with empathy. Her mental deterioration has become so complete that she sees the wallpaper as a gateway to a new life. Bonds explores the idea of self exploration that Esther faces throughout the novel, and how the patriarchal atmosphere slowly causes her to actually lose pieces of herself as she fights the oppression. Early readers were appreciative of the sheer horror of the tale, and, indeed, it still stands as a wonderful example of the genre.
. We can see an increase in her madness at this point, and her diary entries become more and more erratic as she feels she is gaining momentum in releasing her doppelganger. She cannot go out, because her husband has taken such control over her activities that all she can do is sit and watch this paper. New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York : Distributed by Talman, 1992. Such a story ought not to be written, he said; it was enough to drive anyone mad to read it. We can also learn to avoid past pitfalls. She is almost successful when she takes a large dose of pills, but is found in time by her mother.
Last modified: Tuesday 8 June 1999. She does not want to do what society has molded her to do, which is get married and have kids, so she runs from man to man — exercising the only choice she feels she has — refusing or accepting a mate. With the same training and care, you could develop higher faculties in the English specimen than in the Fuegian specimen, because it was better bred. Life is viewed as meaningless if she does not have her own identity as a writer, and she refuses the notion of getting married, though she pursues love anyway. John becomes her prison guard, doling out food and affection as he decides.
When it ceases to be by yielding to external pressures, it abdicates its primarily reponsibility as a monitor and conservator of taste. This complete relinquishment of freedom takes the narrator from a slight depression into the full throes of a mental breakdown in which she apparently never recovers. The woman behind the paper represents her doppelganger, the woman living a life of freedom and liberation that she so desperately wants. Married women were not allowed to own property, keep the wages they earned or sign contracts. On the difference between these terms, see William M. Such a projection stands, of course, in implicit tension with the narrative, because it is the modern- minded, presumably Aryan husband and doctor who constitute the oppressive force.
These statements ring true regarding Victorian sexuality; it was as immobile as the unmoving bedstead. Sylvia Plath also knew first hand the suffering of being a woman in a patriarchal society. Now the story of the story is this: For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia--and beyond. Perhaps the yellow wallpaper acted as a mirror for our narrator. Like Mitchell, Gilman believed that psychological conditions were physical ones.