Feminist Criticism Of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

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Feminist Criticism of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the nameless protagonist is a woman who is completely isolated and has no say in anything that regards her own life. Her husband John does what he believes to be what’s best for her, but in fact, is the complete opposite. It is this sequestration, brought on to her by her own husband, which led to her insanity. John loves his wife, and she knows it. However, he is quite stubborn and the lack of communication in their relationship is very unhealthy. His wife “[doesn’t] feel as if it [is] worth while to turn [her] hand over for anything” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman 4). He refuses to hear her out on anything, and makes all the decisions for her. Whether it is which room she is to stay in, or whom she is allowed to visit, John takes away every choice she has and every decision she may have made. He does love her, but because of the hierarchy in their household, and because he is a physician, he firmly believes that he is right in everything he is doing. Whether he is right or wrong doesn’t make a difference, because no matter what she does or say, his wife’s voice is never heard. It gets very noticeable that her entrapment is only making her case worse. When she tried to explain to him the effects that the wallpaper was having on her, “he [says] that [she] was letting it get the better of [her]” (2). He wasn’t supportive, and did not make any effort to try and let her express her feelings, which made her isolated even more. And so, not only was she physically isolated in her room, but she became mentally isolated from her own thoughts and feelings. Perhaps if she “wore the pants” in this relationship, she would have had a say in things, and not become insane. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and although John truly

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