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The Yellow Wallpaper , Male Dominence Essay

  • Submitted by: kimberley3
  • on February 10, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,603 words

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Below is an essay on "The Yellow Wallpaper , Male Dominence" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Throughout history men have often played a dominant role in society. This is especially true during the 19th century when 'The Yellow Wallpaper' was written. During this time period women were expected to fulfil their role as both mother and wife, nothing less and certainly never anything more, and be content in their societal role.   Author Charlotte Gilman, draws on her own personal experience with patriarchal dominance to portray the suffering of women throughout history. Gilman's use of windows, doors and thresholds throughout 'The Yellow Wallpaper' symbolize the patriarchy dominance that is felt by the female protagonist, and also her will to overcome these barriers. Throughout her short story Gilman uses these symbols of dominance and confinement to portray the traditional views of a woman’s place in the world, and in a marriage during the later part of the 19th century. The protagonists confinement, through locked doors and barred off windows, is inevitably what leads to her psychological decline and eventually her escape from her domestic role in society.  
When we are first introduced to the protagonist of Gilman's story, we learn that she is suffering from what her husband has diagnosed as a 'nervous-depression.' Because of her husbands male dominance, as well as his position as a physician that the protagonist sees no reason to dispute his diagnosis, besides privately writing her disagreement down on 'dead' paper. The narrator, who we may assume is named Jane, is taken by her husband to a colonial mansion where she will spend the summer resting-up as to cure her from her nervous-depression. Jane's first reaction to the house “..there is something strange about the house-I can feel it” (Gilman 60), foreshadows what will happen later on in the story.
After spending a night in the house the narrator decides to inform her husband of the strange feeling she senses from the house. She informs him that there is something not quite right about it, a feeling...

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