Feminist Criticism

Published: 2019-09-03 00:00:00
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Charlotte Perkins definitely portrays that the treatment of her illness actually contributes to her illness. The worsening of the illness starts off from the renting of mansion for the summer. The whole scenario was to help her recuperate from the slight tendency of hysteria. Although Gilman still did not believe that she had become actually ill. John becomes convinced that she is suffering from a condition known as neurasthenia, which she battles and describes as a rest cure. In the story, the treatment of this disease through the rest strategy is found to be more harmful than anyone can imagine (Berenji, 1). With her complete confinement to the bed, she continually remains weak. In the former room used as a nursery, she is limited in her habitual activities where used to perform such as writing or working. With her constant nagging of the presence of yellow wallpaper in the ever lit room, he argues that the sight becomes detestable to her yet John maintains that the nursery room accords the best place and environment that help the patient recuperate (Charlotte 136). John ignores the fact that the journey through recovery from sickness required peace of mind. The treatment of Gilman therefore does more harm than good as she was constantly exposed to psychological torture of having to adapt to detestable sights such as the yellow wallpaper. The healing process becomes slowed by the refusal of John to grant her wishes, exhibited in her failure to change rooms as requested by her. In sickness, a patient requires maximum co-operation in the entire process and should be entitled to her viable requests.

With regard to the subject of women in the Yellow Wall Paper, it presents the struggles that women have to withstand. Even though the women have managed to achieve more equality in the contemporary society than in Gilman's era, it is still troubling to witness the various attitudes about mental health and women in general. It still presents the fact that there are facets of Gilman's story that currently find application. It can be explained with the fact that women still face inadequate company in their trying moments especially in sickness, pregnancies and many other aspects. The book presents Gilman as a lone ranger in her sickness, she constantly begs for the opportunity to visit her relatives who could at least giver very essential cheer and company that could make her heart fond and rejuvenate her energies. Instead, she was out rightly barred from the visits (Berenji, 1). It becomes typical of the modern day woman who in some cases, face stigma whenever they tend to ask for certain errands. In the same instance the piece presents an underlying secret in the yellow wallpaper in the nursery room. But John becomes disappointed whenever he finds out that Gilmans interest in the wallpaper rows yet it had certain secrets underlying there. Equally, she also grows paranoid of the Jennie and John sudden in the secret that she had vowed to unearth alone without help.

In the explanation to the irony at the end of the story when the narrator states, "Now why would that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!" It looks at the start of the circumstances that led to the continual stripping of the yellow wallpaper. Earlier on, Jennie had got an understanding of the desire found in peeling off the yellow wallpaper that the narrator describes as ugly. In this instance she does not tell John anything about the desire and that something out of the ordinary was happening. Come the next day, the narrator still locked herself in the room and continued to strip the wallpaper (Wild Unrest, 55). When she hears that there are certain shrieks within the wallpaper as she continued with the tearing, at this point she decides to jump out of the window. The mission becomes impossible as bars lined on the window prevented her from jumping out of the window. At the rising of the sun the next day, she had already stripped off the wallpaper and she immediately began creeping around the room. When he ultimately breaks into the room, it becomes ironical that the narrator could not even recognize him. She simply informs him that she had already peeled off the wallpaper in order to bar anyone who wished to put her back inside the wall from actualizing that. When John faints, it further becomes ironical that the narrator simply continues to creep around the room over him, instead of becoming remorseful from the fainting.

In discussing a few instances of symbolism found in Gilman's story, the symbol of the house has attached the meaning to a secure place representing a womans transformation and a point where she releases her self-expression. In this instance the house becomes quite a symbol of irony since it does not accord the traditional security it becomes acknowledged with. It simply domesticates the narrator and therefore her transformation becomes defined through the cocoon.

Another aspect of symbolism depicted in the house is the window. In most traditional cases, the window becomes an emblem that gives a view of diverse options and possibilities. With regard to the story, the window presents aspects that she never wants to have a view of (Charlotte, 145). At the end of the story she wishes to jump out of the window yet barriers in the form of bars that she confesses to be too strong to break.

In another portrayal of symbolism is the yellow wallpaper inside the room. The wallpaper here plays a double role where it has the ability to trap the narrator with the complexity of the pattern that definitely leads her to no insatiable end. The paper is also described as the worst thing that she has set her eyes upon. The paper signifies her break away from bondage of a dictatorial husband who is usually at the center of every activity she wishes to perform (Grammar.ccc.commnet.edu, 1). The wall paper also symbolizes the inner peace that she achieves from just looking at it whenever her husband turns out to deny her the very basic forms of freedom she deserves in life. Through looking at it she simply studies it through looking at the various patterns in place, and she becomes absorbed in the studies and keenly follows these patterns to the end (Grammar.ccc.commnet.edu, 1). Through the use of the various symbols in the book, the author achieves her goal of ultimately presenting the various atrocities that the 19th century and the current woman face in their struggle for liberation. The symbolism here has recorded the use characteristics that are closely linked to women and prudently utilizes them against the books narrator, hence assisting her to bring out the oppressive acts she faces.

Works Cited:

"The Yellow Wall-Paper: A Twist On Conventional Symbols". Grammar.ccc.commnet.edu. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

CharlottePerkin. Yellow Wall Paper". Mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

"Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman And The Making Of "The Yellow Wall-Paper"". Choice Reviews Online 48.10 (2011): 48-5547-48-5547. Web.

Q BERENJI, FAHIMEH. "Time And Gender In Charlotte Perkins GilmanS The Yellow Wall-Paper And Kate ChopinS The Story Of An Hour". Journal of History Culture and Art Research 2.2 (2013): n. pag. Web.

sheldon

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