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Analyze how The Yellow Wallpaper can be interpreted as a feminist story.

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Introduction

Analyze how "The Yellow Wallpaper" can be interpreted as a feminist story. Should women and men have the same rights? The question stated by feminists in early 1900s had power to change the world. Women finally are allowed to participate in a political life and vote. Schools and universities welcome everybody regardless of students' gender. Professional career is no longer a strict men's domain and raising children becomes a responsibility of both mother and father as well. Charlotte Gilman was one of the early feminists, so she had a chance to experience a life "at the social margin". In the world of "The Yellow Wallpaper", women are assigned a well defined position: a housekeeper taking care of her family. To talk about a society in which women and men have an unequal status, Gilman uses metaphors (yellow wallpaper) and a specific words choice. "The Yellow Wallpaper" contains description of a society and family model of the time. ...read more.

Middle

The language of the story contains clues about Gilman's perceptions of the treatments and roles of women in her times. Access to education is generally a privilege of men, while women are completely overlooked in this field. The main character of the story struggles with technical terms like "phosphates", which are in scientific realm assigned to men only. She has to relay on man's mind as women are perceived non-technical and unable to comprehend anything beyond the kitchen. Gilman pictures her as a naive, faithful wife who does as her husband instructs her to. The poor woman feels guilty of being "unreasonably angry" (Gilman 400) and experiencing nervous disorder, for she is pushed to think so by doctors. Similarly, the language the main character uses to express her impression of the garden may be an allusion to woman's position in a household. Instead of beautiful, breathtaking, fantastic, charming, the garden appears "delicious" (400) ...read more.

Conclusion

The bars may symbolize the division of men and women and how the women are being held back. Moreover, the figure behind the wallpaper as well as all strangled heads in the paper may symbolize women whose careers and goals have been suppressed by dominant men. Breaking through the glass ceiling takes a lot of effort and determination and Gilman knew it so very well; she was the one whose determination brought victory as a writer, but many female artists of her times did not win the battle and stayed undiscovered forever. Therefore, the yellow wallpaper, as the focal-point of the story, holds many metaphors for feminist issues. "The Yellow Wallpaper" can be analyzed as a feminist text, because it presents new ideas of the author as well as old ideas about women's position in society. The metaphors, images, language, and the basic plot of the story create a complete image of a female character that has broken out in triumph over oppressive male characters. She makes her own way through writing a journal and may symbolize a woman's struggle to find equal opportunity with men. ?? ?? ?? ?? 3 ...read more.

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