Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors. (Quote garden). In this short story the narrator is a very timid female. She appears to be unsure of herself and abides by all things that her husband tells her.
She is so caught up in what he believes, that when he says she is not sick she second guesses if she is, but would never speak up to say that. The author Charlotte Perkins-Gilman was born July 3, 1860 and died August 17, 1935. She was a feminist, in her time she was a role model for many generations of people in the future because of the examples she set and the novels, short stories, and poetry she wrote. The Yellow Wallpaper is one of her short stories she is most remembered for. Using feminist criticism, the reader can analyze Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper through dialogue, symbols, and setting. First of all, the narrator, Jane, is the main voice of the story.
Some women are insecure and unsure of themselves. They are affected by the deep sound of a man’s voice or the size between a man and woman and, may think that men are superior to them. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.” (Perkins-Gilman). This is a comment from the narrator in the story after she is talking about the house she is moving into being cheap and, that it is fate to live there. The narrator seems to be controlled by her husband because she accepts the fact that he laughs at her.
Woman are put down in society so she just assumes that in marriage a man is going to shut down a woman’s ideas. By John laughing at the narrator he is blocking out her thoughts about the house because he thinks they sound stupid. “He is careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction.” (Perkins-Gilman). The narrator admires her husband’s direction he always gives to her.
She is dependent on her husband for every little thing. John is controlling over every decision, but the narrator thinks that it is normal for the man to be in charge and, thinks it’s just because he is “careful and loving.” Furthermore, symbols throughout the story help to understand the characters thoughts and feelings. Authors usually put meaning behind their stories to encode the moral of the story. “The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.
” (Perkins-Gilman). In the story the wallpaper in the narrator’s room is unattractive. She stared at the paper so long she started to see a woman behind bars in the wallpaper. She sees the woman trying to escape. The pattern symbolizes the narrator’s subconscious thoughts to her feeling of wanting to be out of the barred room, feeling of wanting to be her own person, feeling of wanting to be healed of her sickness.
“I’ve got most of the paper so you can’t put me back!” (Perkins-Gilman). The narrator starts to tear all the paper off the wall in her room once she realizes the woman behind the paper is trying to break out. The narrator’s mood at the end of the story changes it’s expressed here with an exclamation point. She is more happy and excited; she thinks that since the wall paper is free from the wall that she is now free from the lonely feeling of being in that isolated room. She is realizing that as a woman she can break out on her own.
In addition, the setting of the story is important to visualize what is being partaken in the reading. “The color is repellent, almost revolting: a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” (Perkins-Gilman). The narrator is expressing how the wallpaper is old and unattractive to the eye. She is turned off by the wallpaper, which could reflect how she feels toward her husband for making her stay in there.
“The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school used it. It is stripped off-the paper in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw worse paper.” (Perkins-Gilman). The first thing the narrator notices is the awful wallpaper.
She is not engrossed by it from the start. The narrator trusts her husband so much that she just accepts the fact that she has to stay in this repulsive room, even though it is not what she wants to do. She does not speak up for what she wants, and that makes her husband think he is in control. The Yellow Wallpaper is one of her short stories she is most remembered for. Using feminist criticism, the reader can analyze Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper through dialogue, symbols, and setting. This story shows that woman should speak up for what they want.
The woman in this story is literally ill from being stuck in this room that she did not want to be in. Letting someone be in control of a person does not mean they are loving and caring. It’s better for woman to have their own independence.