The Yellow Wallpaper Trapped In Society
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," the main character has a sense of being trapped throughout the story. She suffers within herself the ideas of being trapped and not getting out. She struggles with not doing what she wants and fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother. "I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already" (722). In the nineteenth century women were not allowed to do as they pleased.
They were to do whatever their husbands told them if they wanted to or not. They also did not have many rights to anything. In the story it portrays how women were trapped in there own rights, even in there own home.In the nineteenth century women were not allowed to do or speak as they pleased. There goal in life was to marry and have children.
By not having the freedom to do as they wanted a lot of women felt trapped in their own homes. Likewise, in the story the main character is trapped in her room everyday and night just like the women were trapped in their homes. They could not even express themselves the way they wanted too. In the story the woman would not let others see her writing because she was not allowed to do so; it would be frowned upon from her husband. Many women in that day felt the same; they had to hide what they wanted to do so they would not get talked about in society.The woman in the story has a desire to be free but does not know how to do it herself.
She is locked in a room day after day with barely any company and wants to get out. Her husband is allowed to do as he pleases and leave and come as he wants, but she was not. Many women in the nineteenth century felt the same way she did and had the same problem. Women felt like they were in a prison with bars on the windows and a lock on the door.
Not being able to do or feel as they wanted. Just like the woman in the story who is locked in her room all day while her husband is out. Men were treated very differently than women in this day. Men were allowed to work and go out while women had to sit at home and tend to the children. Men and women were not treated equally because women were looked on as lesser than men.
A lot of women were stuck in the same house all day while the men could leave and do as they pleased.While the main character is trapped in her room all day she starts to get very annoyed with the yellow wallpaper. She starts to tear the wallpaper off one piece at a time to try to get rid of all of it, "I shook and she pulled, and before morning we have peeled off yards of that paper" (730). She was trying to get out just like women wanted to do in the nineteenth century. They wanted to do as they pleased and not have anyone judge them for doing so.
They never could because men would not allow it. Women tried to get out of the lifestyle they were living but it was frowned upon from society, it was considered un-lady like to think or do for yourself. The woman in the story show how women of the nineteenth century felt by all the rules and regulations they had in there own home.
Like the woman in the story, the women in the nineteenth century kept pulling at their own wallpaper but never getting to the top of the wall. They tried to be considered equal to men but it never worked out.Women were expected to do as they were told. They would have to do chores, take care of the children, or do charitable work, never being allowed to do what they really wanted.
They were trapped in by the "yellow wallpaper" in their own homes. The men were allowed to go to work and do as they pleased leaving the women home all day to tend to the children and the chores of the house. Also, women did not have a right to anything. When they got married anything they owned would be their husbands.
If they had money, the husband would take it and control it. They could not own property and were not allowed to vote. Women were supposed to listen to what their husbands said and what society wanted from them. They were not allowed to have an opinion on things like how the house should run or politics. They were trapped in what society thought was right just like the woman was trapped in by the walls of her room and society not accepting her.People may read this story and figure that the woman is unstable and unable to care for her child because of postpartum depression.
They may think she is locked in her room so she can get over the shock of having the baby and having to deal with it, and cannot play the role society wants women to play in that day and age. She is left alone in the room to get over her depression of having the baby and not know what to feel. Her husband could be hiding her away from society because she is not fulfilling her role as a mother and a wife like you were suppose to in that day. Women were supposed to take care of all the kids and obey what the husband says.
Others may think she is just unstable in general and is insane because she sees things in the wallpaper and starts to pull it off. But what the wallpaper represents is women pulling off what society expects from them and they becoming there own person.Women in the nineteenth century were never considered equal to men. They had to keep pulling at there own wallpaper because they felt trapped in there own home and society just like the woman in the story who was trapped in her room by windows that had bars on them. Women were prisoners of their world and did not like it, but could do very little to control it. They could not express how they felt to there husband because they would not listen and think it was wrong for them to even have an opinion on the matter.
The yellow wallpaper represents the society for the women in the nineteenth century. They were trapped by their own home and treated unfairly for many years. They were never allowed to express how they really felt and could not talk to others about it because it was unaccepted in society. They were trapped in there own homes and had to deal with the society treating them differently for many years.Work CitedGilman, Charlotte. "The Yellow Wallpaper".
Exploring Literature Writing and Arguing aboutFiction, Poetry, and the Essay. Ed. Frank Madden. 4th Ed. New York: Person Longman,2009. 496-501
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