Essay on Oppression in The Yellow Wallpaper, At the Cadian Ball, and The Storm

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1310 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Fighting Oppression in The Yellow Wallpaper, At the Cadian Ball, and The Storm

   In their works, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin show that freedom was not universal in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The three works, "The Yellow Wallpaper," "At the 'Cadian Ball," and "The Storm" expose the oppression of women by society.  This works also illustrate that those women who were passive in the face of this oppression risk losing not only their identity, but their sanity as well.


Gilman's female narrator, who either chose not to fight this tradition or was unable to do so, loses her sanity at the hands of an oppressive male-dominated American society. The narrator feels certain that the "rest cure" prescribed by her doctor is not working. She says that the men in her life are wrong to limit her activity. She feels that she could escape her depression if given the chance. "Personally, I disagree with their ideas. I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good."1 But despite this knowledge, the narrator does not act out against what she believes to be the incorrect ideas of the men who confine her and make her mental illness worse. Her growing insanity is inspired by and represented in the wallpaper of the story's title.


The pattern on the wallpaper represents to the narrator and to the reader the male-dominated society that is depriving the narrator of her freedom. For the narrator, on a personal level, the pattern on the wallpaper represents the actions of her husband, doctor and her husband's sister to keep her locked in the room and idle. While these people are ostensibly attempting to aid the narrator, they are in effect imprisoning her i...

... middle of paper ...

...he Yellow Wallpaper," the narrator does not act out and she loses her sanity. In "At the 'Cadian Ball," Clarisse acts out and she is successful. Calixta does not act out and she submits to a marriage to a man for whom she feels less passion. In "The Storm," Clarisse continues to be happy because she acts in a manner that suits her. She goes away when she feels like it and both she and Alcee are happy. The theme that is recurrent in these stories is that it is important for a woman's happiness and well-being to act out against an unjust society.



Works Cited

* 1 "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1994, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 646.

* 2 Ibid, p. 653.

* 3 "The Storm," Kate Chopin, The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1994, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 493.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Oppression of Women and The Yellow Wallpaper - The Oppression of Women and The Yellow Wallpaper        The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a fictionalized autobiographical account that illustrates the emotional and intellectual deterioration of the female narrator who is also a wife and mother. The woman, who seemingly is suffering from post-partum depression, searches for some sort of peace in her male dominated world. She is given a “rest cure” from her husband/neurologist doctor that requires strict bed rest and an imposed reprieve form any mental stimulation....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1520 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Oppression of Wives in Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Gillman's The Yellow Wallpaper - Writings from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s often depict husbands as controlling. This would lead to the demise of their wives. In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman the husband’s insistence upon control, leaves their wives longing for the freedom of simple expression. “The Story of an Hour” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates how the husband is the controlling figure in the marriage. The two short stories also expose how the oppression put on them by their husband leaves the women unfulfilled and unhappy with their lives....   [tags: The Story of an Hour, The Yellow Wallpaper] 955 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Oppression of Women Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper - The Oppression of Women Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper   Charlotte Perkins Gilman is remembered today principally for her feminist work "The Yellow Wallpaper."  It dramatizes her life and her experience with Dr. S. Weir Mitchell's now infamous "rest cure."  Commonly prescribed for women suffering from "hysteria," the rest cure altogether forbade company, art, writing, or any other form of intellectual stimulation.  When Mitchell prescribed this for Gilman, he told her to "'live a domestic life as far as possible,' to 'have but two hours' intellectual life a day,' and 'never to touch pen, brush or pencil again' as long as I lived" ("Why I Wrote ....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1835 words
(5.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Women’s Freedom from Oppression: An Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper - Women were not seen in the past as they are seen now. They were seen as the weaker, less knowledgeable sex. They had to listen to their husbands and they had no say in anything. We are reminded of this when we read “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an activist for women’s rights. With this being said, I believe Gilman’s purpose for writing “The Yellow Wallpaper” was to show the readers women do have rights, this is a changing world, and women don’t have to listen to everything their husband or significant other tells them to do....   [tags: yellow wallpaper, charlotte gilman, feminism]
:: 2 Works Cited
1123 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Oppression of Women by Society in The Yellow Wallpaper - 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....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays] 1607 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Setting, Symbolism and Oppression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper - The Yellow Wallpaper: Setting, Symbolism and Oppression of Women Have you ever been locked in a dark closet. You grope about trying to feel the doorknob, straining to see a thin beam of light coming from underneath the door. As the darkness consumes you, you feel as if you will suffocate. There is a sensation of helplessness and hopelessness. Loneliness, caused by oppression, is like the same darkness that overtakes its victim. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in "The Yellow Wallpaper," recounts the story of a young mother who travels to a summer home to "rest" from her nervous condition....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays] 787 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Yellow Wallpaper: Fighting the Oppression - During the late 1800’s, the oppression of women was far too common, and while some women accepted this inequality, others realized the injustice and made the first steps to exposing the ugly truth and creating the society in which we live today: where single-sex dominance is frowned upon and equality is fought for publically and proudly. The author of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gillman, was one of these strong-headed women who, despite living amongst a society who knew no different, believed that a woman should be permitted to live her life alongside her husband-or alone if so chose- instead of under his reproachful stare and dominating thumb....   [tags: Literary Themes]
:: 1 Works Cited
961 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Feminine Oppression in The Yellow Wallpaper - Women have always struggled to gain attention from men as well as equality with them. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" has a dominant theme of feminine oppression. It is a symbolic work of literature because women in the era in which this story was published were treated in much the same way as the narrator was on a daily basis. Male dictatorship over women is rampant within the illness and treatment of the unnamed narrator, the characters in the story, and the many symbols that serve to confine the main character....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 4 Works Cited
1588 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper - Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper   "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman share the same view of the subordinate position of women in the late 1800's. Both stories demonstrate the devastating effects on the mind and body that result from an intelligent person living with and accepting the imposed will of another. This essay will attempt to make their themes apparent by examining a brief summery of their stories and relating them to their personal histories....   [tags: Story Hour Yellow Wallpaper Essays Papers]
:: 7 Works Cited
1254 words
(3.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Effect Of Oppression In Yellow Wallpaper - Effect of Oppression in "The Yellow Wallpaper" "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a self-told story about a woman who approaches insanity. The story examines the change in the protagonist's character over three months of her seclusion in a room with yellow wallpaper and examines how she deals with her "disease." Since the story is written from a feminist perspective, it becomes evident that the story focuses on the effect of the society's structure on women and how society's values destruct women's individuality....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman] 902 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]