The 19Th Century’s Oppression Of Women In "The Yel

965 Words4 Pages
Courtney Dobronich Ms. McPherson English 1020 13 March 2012 The 19th Century’s Oppression of Women in “The Yellow Wallpaper” “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story of a skilful woman whose talents and thoughts are suppressed by the dominance of her husband and society. The husband’s efforts to oppress her in order to keep her within society’s standards of what a proper wife should be, only lead to her psychological destruction. The narrator in the story is a genuine symbol of all women in the mid to late nineteenth century. At the time, men and women were placed into two very separate “spheres” in which each included their own certain roles and expectations. Society’s demanding gender roles and domestic spheres influenced the women’s oppression, which gave rise to male dominance and the negligence of women’s health, happiness, and rights as individuals. Society’s views of gender roles between men and women were very strict. The duties of a woman (especially a married woman) were mostly confined within the household which included “four cardinal virtues: piety, purity, submissiveness and, last but not least, domesticity” ( Notaro).They were expected to offer emotional support to the man in their life, acting as “his helpmate, aiding and cheering his accomplishments” (Lamanna and Riedman 83). Women were also required to fulfill their only duties as wives and mothers and be content with that existence. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” describes her exact role as she writes in her journal, “ I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 722). Also, the fact that she is the one in need of help and comforting yet wishes to tend to her husband’s needs shows just how restrained she is under the social demands. It

More about The 19Th Century’s Oppression Of Women In "The Yel

Open Document