Women and 19th Century Society – The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is the masterpiece of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a famous American feminist critic and writer. The story is based on the tragic experience of a weak woman in her family, it depicts the oppression of woman from their patriarchal families or we can say the prison. Throughout history, men treated women as their accessories. Women didn’t have equal rights in their family lives and lived in a very restrictive environment. Men suppressed women’s personalities and thoughts. In the 19th century, women had no custody of their children, couldn’t sign legal documents without their husbands’ permission, and had no right to vote. The social status of women was not better than children or slave. In the story, john, the husband of the narrator, controls his wife from every detail in the life just like a father regulating his daughter. John put the narrator in a nursery, windows are barred, bells in the walls, the bed is fixed to the ground, he designs a schedule to decide when the narrator has to eat and sleep, and dose not allow the narrator to write and visit her relatives. The story The Yellow Wallpaper uses many symbolic ways to disclose how their family and society unequally treat women. Women are receiving no equality in the family, freedom to express themselves and respect in the society.

Husband and wife are both important members in a family. However, in the 19th century they didn’t share the equal rights. The husband dominated everything, finances, children, and the wife’s body. The wives were subsidiary objects to their husband, so in the marriage understanding and communication was missing. In the story, when the narrator asks why the colonial mansion’s rent is so cheap, and how long they will stay there, her husband does not reply her, “ John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage”(Gilman 647). This shows that there is a lack of communication between husband and wife. As the…

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