What Is Gender Oppression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story documenting the mental illness of the unnamed narrator. Throughout the story, the reader watches as the narrator goes from nervous to paranoid to complete psychosis all while blaming the wallpaper in her bedroom. She tries many times to seek the help of John, but he dismisses her questions of illness with simple remedies such as isolation, rest, and tonics. Eventually, the narrator succumbs to her illness and tears apart the wallpaper, leaving John shocked into unconsciousness. John oppresses his wife as a person by disregarding her mental illness as silly worries. Subjugation of women not only in a marriage, but in society as a whole was not uncommon for the Victorian era. In the Czech Republic, people of all genders were subjected to a similar oppression under Communist rule. In this way, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and the history of the Czech Republic can be compared. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” John treats his wife as if she were a child. He clearly believes he knows better than her how she is feeling and what procedures she should follow to help her get better. He also uses pet names like “little goose” and “little girl” as if she were his daughter and not a grown woman with a child of her own (Gilman 84, 87). Though he doesn’t realize it, John’s demeaning attitude towards…show more content…
She is advised by her husband John to avoid her usual domestic duties and to remain alone to rest. Despite her arguments to write and visit her family, John tells her to continue what he says to do because he can see an improvement in her, since he is a doctor and knows she is getting better whether she sees it or not. In this way, the narrator is contributing to the subjugation of women in Victorian society, which in some ways is similar to the oppression of people living under a communist

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