Oppression of Women

by Roseanne Lohmann, May 2015

1200 words

4 pages


There exist various literatures dealing with gender related issues. This includes issues of how women are treated by their family as well as the society. This can be related to the story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkin Gilman. This is the author of the short story that portrays a situation of how a husband mistreats the mental illness of his woman. It addresses the problem of mental illness as well as medical treatment for women. It clearly indicates the attitude of men as well as medical professionals towards women with psychological and emotional issues. The Author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was a victim who experienced the dominance of men over her illness. This resulted to her literature on the Yellow Wall paper, which is a representation of her life within that period.The social norms of that period had an expectation towards women on fulfilling their duties as wives and mothers. They were also expected to be contented in their existence as nothing more (Troll 113). The public and private sphere created a separation between men and women during the 19th century. Women in this case were doomed to spend their lives within the household sphere. Although John is seen to domineer in the story, he is merely a representation of the society. The desire of the narrator is noted to be more than having John and her child in her life. This, however, does not correspond to the social expectations. This is further distinguished by her love for writing and creativity from her idealized angel of the house she was expected to emulate (Alison & Kelly, 182).Gilman is seen to rebel these social expectations. This is indicated by how she left her husband and moved to California to write. This was considered an indicator of not belonging to a respectable society. The woman who is indicated as trapped in The Yellow Wallpaper is a perfect metaphor for the representation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The entire story appears as a close echo of Gilman’s views in regards to oppression of women in society. Comparison is made which indicates Gilman’s competency in merging her public as well as private expressions. This she achieved through the work of devastating effects (Troll, 113). Women who suffered mental illness were considered as hysterical. Their condition was not considered as illness. They were treated as second class that was not entitled to proper care. The main character in The Yellow Wallpaper suffered was mentally ill, and her husband John always mistreated her. Her husband was part of the medical occupation, which mishandled women being a doctor. They did this because of their profession, which was dominated by men who considered women as inferior. This is indicated in the case where John was irritated by his wife condition regarding it as a minor condition. He also portrayed his annoyance where he preferred to treat strangers rather than his wife.John, the narrator’s husband is indicated as loving his wife. He is seen to be tender with her and …

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