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Looking at Jane's mental prison, Gilman's Protagonist 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' the personification of the women's conflicts as they pursue their freedom of thinking is brought forth vividly. Despite the fact that many people interpret the story from a psychological position, it should be noted that it may also be understood from a feminist perspective as a commentary on the status of women in the 1880s. As a result, new difficulties arise, such as the narrator's struggle in the community, where males are represented as having power over women in even the most intimate areas of their life. Dock et al. (56) illustrates the theme of feminism by using both Jane and her husband (John) thorough their characterization. Jane's thoughts when she was recording her feelings and views in addition to the surrounding that she was placed in, best describes the exact imprisonment that women were subjected to as per Gilman. Therefore, Dock el al. (64) illustrates that the men took control over the women in the community Thus, the following research paper aims to discuss 'The Yellow Wallpaper' from a feminist point of view.
Based on John's (the husband of the protagonist) characterization, Gilman portrays the reality of dominance that exists in the community; that is, John was a husband who held absolute control over his wife (Jane). Right from the time that Jane appeared to be obsessed, John started treating her like an inferior person who could not make an informed decision about her life. This can be illustrated when Jane said that John used to laugh at her and she expected the same to take place in everyone's marriage (Thrailkill 523). Definitely, John figured out his wife's thoughts and ideas as being laughable and did not require any serious attention until it was too late to deliver her from the madness. With regard to John's way of life, one can tell what was to be expected of the same community. However, when Jane managed to control her thoughts and ideas, John came in as a protective husband and leader, but his roles were already reversed to that of a woman. No wonder, he was able to take up the responsibilities that were ascribed to him (Gilman 88). Even from the point when John fainted after seeing his wife in a state of delirium, it is clear that John was not protective and courageous to take up his responsibility as a man, instead; he was overwhelmed by surprise that made him faint. This incident can be alluded to be like a stereotypical woman. By virtue that John accepted Jane's delirium, Gilman has managed to reverse the traditional roles of a wife and a husband or a man. This can be well illustrated when John is shocked at the reversal of roles and he begins showing the need to control his wife in order to prevent him from being seen as a 'woman' by the community (Thrailkill 543).
Consequently, Treichler (74) depicts the feminist expression of thoughts and ideas as the women break through from the tough community's barriers. It is rather obvious that there are restrictions that men and the community have placed that underpins the women from repressing their thoughts and ideas. Treichler (76) illustrates this when Jane admits that she was still able to write despite some of them objecting her thoughts and views. Thus, it can be said that Gilman has depicted the individual woman as being depressed, and ill until when she was able to manage and express thoughts and views through the paper (Treichler 77). Gilman further mentions that the time that Jane appeared exhausted was mostly attributed to the fact that his husband took her for a ride. Despite these series of occurrences, the community still pushed Jane to continue to stay in her husband's care. This can be justified when Jane admits that her husband was taking complete care of her and she felt basely ungrateful not to consider it anymore. Even though her husband had removed all the responsibilities and control from her hands, Jane felt imprisoned hence useless. This suggests why Jane was forced by the community to worship and thank John for rejecting the need of Jane to think about her life (Ford 307).
By virtue that the story was developed in a scene induced by nothing other than insanity and scorn, it should be clear that Jane's surrounding was transpired to communicate the crucial theme of feminism. As such, her surrounding resembled a prison, especially when she mentions that all the walls were supposed to repapered. Despite the fact that Jane accepted herself to be blocked by these the bars as well as gates, her husband still did not change the surroundings. Instead, he wished to keep his wife imprisoned for long (Ford 308). This concedes to Jane's thoughts and ideas when she was obsessed with the wallpaper. As much as the wallpaper was not physically restraining like the bars and the gates, Gilman presents the psychological prison that Jane was subjected to. Thus, she was able to illustrate her thoughts to be devoted in the paper; she was captivated by it and was not able to pull her mind from the weird allure of patterns. All these incidences connect Jane as a real woman who was trapped behind the whole story. Nevertheless, the character's mind is not unbound until the end of the story, when she had narrated almost the entire paper of her thought and concepts (Ford 312).
In summary, the story in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' can perfectly be expressed from the feminist point of view by illustrating the mental and the physical hardships that are being faced by the women in their day-to-day life in the community. Although the actions of the Jane's husband (John) may have not been pleasing, Gilman uses him to illustrate the imprisonment, as well as the psychological struggles that are placed on women in the community if not the men. Therefore, Gilman suggests that the gender roles must be removed in order to establish the social order for the women in the community. Hence, it comes out clear that there is no effort to review the symptoms of Jane's mental illness, thus, the cure failed, but it can be said that cure was deeply rooted in one's psychic unrest thus, explains why Jane's medication did not succeed until when she managed to mention her thoughts and views.
Dock, Julie Bates, et al.. 'But One Expects That": Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "the Yellow Wallpaper" and the Shifting Light of Scholarship'. PMLA 111.1 (1996): 52'65. Web...
Ford, Karen. '"The Yellow Wallpaper" and Women's Discourse'. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 4.2 (1985): 309'314. Web'
Thrailkill, Jane F.. 'Doctoring "the Yellow Wallpaper"'. ELH 69.2 (2002): 525'566. Web...
Treichler, Paula A.. 'Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in "the Yellow Wallpaper"'.Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 3.1/2 (1984): 61'77. Web...
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