Patriarchal Control In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Claudia Cox ‘The main interest of the novel is in its portrayal of intricate characters.’ Explore the methods which the writer uses to create complex characters in the yellow wallpaper. The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892 focuses on the main interest of the novel being the portrayal of intricate characters. The text explores the mental deterioration of the nameless protagonist, who is trapped under patriarchal control and the reader shares the journey of the protagonist’s descent into madness. ‘The chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity’ (Maggie O’Farrell, 2008) aims to educate other women within society, despite being isolated within her marriage; in which she is refused power, dismissed and belittled by her husband. The characters in the novel display complex personalities and the main focus is on the intricate protagonist, the…show more content…
‘Women must creep’ (Elaine R. Hedges) illustrates the thought that women shouldn’t be heard, but do only what they’re required to do, reinforcing how women were demeaned. The lack of power women had was not only present within their marriage, but also in society as males were perceived as the more significant gender, so women were patronised and dismissed by patriarchal control. Patriarchal control is represented clearly by John, the protagonist’s husband, which increases complexity within the novel as the isolation and ‘The resting cure’ he enforces upon her, causes her mental state to degenerate further, despite John believing it is helping his wife. There are a number of methods used to increase the characters complexity in The Yellow Wallpaper. For example, the use of epistolary displays a 1st person narrative and is in the present tense, “I never used to be so sensitive.” This is present when the protagonist writes to herself, Gilman uses this technique in order to show the
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