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Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper is a Feminist Work of Literature that Depicts the Struggle of Women Searching for a Sense of Self and a Freedom from the Domestic Roles Society Assigned them. How Far Do You Agree with this Statement?

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Introduction

According the Marina Banks: ?Charlotte Perkins Gilman?s ?The Yellow Wallpaper? is a Feminist Work of Literature that Depicts the Struggle of Women Searching for a Sense of Self and a Freedom from the Domestic Roles Society Assigned them.? How Far Do You Agree with this Statement? It is thought that Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents her own thoughts through her female protagonist?s diary entries, thus implying the text is intended as a feminist piece of literature. Although there are some other contradictory view points to this statement arguing that there is a deeper message written within the text. Firstly, it is perceived that the female protagonist in ?The Yellow Wallpaper? is in fact Gilman?s own opinions. As Gilman herself went on the same journey of that of the main characters, previously stating that she obeyed medical directions ?for some three months and came so near the border of utter mental ruin that I could see over? thus implying the inspiration for this piece of literature was in fact Gilman?s own journey, indicating any opinions stated within the text have derived from her personal journey. ...read more.

Middle

However, there are other interpretations of this text that do not believe ?The Yellow Wallpaper? is a feminist text and is instead merely exploring and educating readers on the medical world throughout the nineteenth century. The protagonist clearly states that her husband is in the medical profession, as well as revealing her brother ?is also a physician?, thus highlighting the hegemony of males within medicine. Charlotte Perkins Gilman is not shown to be representing the medical profession in a positive way as they are shown to belittle the commonly known present day illness: post natal depression, as ?a slight hysterical tendency?. Post natal depression was not a commonly accepted concept as a mental illness so many doctors purely prescribed absolute rest. The protagonist further goes on to suggest that due to their beliefs of the ?temporary nervous depression? that this ?is one reason I do not get well faster.? This point is further highlighted by the protagonist?s continuous decrease in mental stability leading to a dramatic downfall. ...read more.

Conclusion

All these reasons would therefore lead to people interpreting the text as a gothic story with a dark tone to the writing throughout the text. In conclusion therefore, there are many reasons as to why people would interpret ?The Yellow Wallpaper? as a feminist text and agree with the statement said by Marina Banks. This is mainly due to the continuous remembrance to how women were poorly treated in the late nineteenth century. Particularly focusing on the constant struggle women would face to find a sense of self and not stick to the stereotypical role society would expect from them in both a domestic and general environment. Although other may interpret the text as portraying a negative view on the medical ideals as that subsequently becomes the protagonist?s main downfall. However, due to the gothic themes shown throughout the text, it can be thought that the text is merely a dark story with fatal ending, rather than having a message written within it. By Lucille Dancer ...read more.

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