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The Oppression of Women by Society in The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Oppression of Women by Society in The Yellow Wallpaper                     

 

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a creative woman whose talents are suppressed by her dominant husband. His efforts to oppress her in order to keep her within society's norms of what a wife is supposed to act like, only lead to her mental destruction. He is more concerned with societal norms than the mental health of his wife. In trying to become independent and overcome her own suppressed thoughts, and her husbands false diagnosis of her; she loses her sanity. One way the story illustrates his dominance is by the way he, a well-know and established doctor who should know better than to diagnose a family member, diagnoses her as having a temporary nervousness condition and what he prescribes for her illness, which is bed rest. Without asking her, he takes her to their summer home to recover from an illness that he doesn't believe she has. He tells her there is "no reason" why she feels the way she does; she should get rid of those "silly fantasies." In saying this to her, he is treating her like a child who doesn't really know how she feels, thus making her doubt herself. When she tries to tell him what she needs, she is completely shut out and ignored. "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." This statement has a two-fold meaning, in the first part of the sentence he reveals part of his insecurity problem. He is not interested in getting her help because he doesn'...


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...environment she was placed in, and to not look for outside influences to help strengthen her, which was an indication of his insecurity. She accepted the environment that she was placed in but begin to slowly change it into what she wanted. Even though her husband really believed that he was helping her, he was actually hurting her. He was stuck in society's thinking that woman wanted to be taken care of and thought that, that's what he was doing. He could not understand why she began to react violently and angrily to the environment in which she was placed. Only by confronting her fears of what society and her husband would think about her, did she allow herself to become free. Once she achieved her independence, she realized that she didn't need to rely on anyone else but herself for her survival. By refusing to be submissive, she traded her sanity for independence.


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