The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis of Confinement

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Confinement is a method of placing boundaries and limitations on something or someone. The notion of confinement is presented in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, through the main character Jane and her psychological journey as she faces confinement. The aspects of Jane's confinement create an excessive pressure upon her that ultimately leaves her no choice but to defy the norms of the nineteenth century in order to be free. The little knowledge presented to her keeps her unaware of her confinement, and it remains unfamiliar until through her own dread and apprehensiveness she begins to become aware of her own self. As the story transpires, Jane's unknown figure becomes all that is known to her; however, because of what is expected of her as a woman it is difficult for her to acknowledge her own self as she is afraid of her own monstrosity. Her repression is what initiates her transgression of becoming this unknown figure, and through excessive behaviour and desire she is able to recognize her situation as everything she is initially told is meant to keep her in the dark. Living in the nineteenth century, Jane has an extensive amount of pressure to be the perfect housewife and comply to her domestic expectations. Women have little rights and respect, and they must pursue their roles as women and tend to their husband and children's needs without complaint. Jane is very aware of these pressures placed upon her, as she is constantly describing how she must make John happy, and get well for John and the baby. John's sister Jennie is a perfect representation of the ideal housewife in the nineteenth century, as Jane describes; “She is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession” (5). Therefore, Jane knows the norms of her time period, and knows what is expected of her; however, because of her excessive confinement Jane
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