Wwomen's Struggles in The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Gilman, is fictional story based off of her own experiences as a woman in the Victorian era. Gilman depicts a woman, the Narrator of the story, who is in a fairly constant process of mental degradation throughout. The narrator is in a position where she lacks control of her own life, because of the social standing that women held at the time, below men. Her husband, a Physician, has brought her to a country house to provide her with country air and seclusion from people, which he believes will relieve her of nervous depression, though she doesn’t believe it is the treatment that she needs. Author Charlotte Gilman also talks about her own ordeal with a similar treatment to the narrator in Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, while writer Barbara Hochman discusses the underlying symbol that is the wallpaper in The Reading Habit and “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Through theme, Gilman uses the Narrator’s seclusion, by her husband, to depict the social standing of women, while criticizing women’s position in society, pertaining particularly to the subordination that they must endure in and out of marriage.
When originally published, The Yellow Wallpaper was often misinterpreted, particularly concerning the theme of the story. It was believed to be purely a physiological thriller, which it is, but people failed to read the underlying message of women’s subordination. The narrator is not truly aware that she has no control of her own life, perhaps subconsciously she is, but being raised in a society where women resemble second-class citizens she is ignorant to her situation. The Narrator loves her husband, and the husband does so in return, but his beliefs and practices toward the health and well-being ...

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...uld have shown women that they know what is best for their mental health, not seclusion, or what men tell them. After writing the story, Gilman sent a copy to her doctor, who, though he wouldn’t admit it to her, changed his procedure of healing after reading.
Charolette Gilman was aware of the unfairness that Women felt at the hands of men, but unlike our narrator was able to fight it. It’s a shame that tis story wasn’t rediscovered until recently, who knows what kind of impact it could have had upon the struggle for women’s rights if it had been interpreted properly. Luckily, for the most part, women’s subordination is an issue of the past for the western world, and women have equal share of responsibility and respect in marriages. Gilman will be remembered as one of the many women who took the necessary steps to give women equal opportunity.

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