Comparison Of The Yellow Wall Paper And The Awakening

606 words - 3 pages

Erin Feeney
October 3, 2009
AP Lit
Period 3
“The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Awakening

The Victorian Era put great constraints on society. The social standards had an intense impact on the people, especially the women. Woman reacted in an array of ways to the male controlled era. This contrast is evident in “the Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The woman in these works had similar situations but made very different life choices.
Jean was a woman of Victorian times. She was submissive in every way to her husband. She trusted his decisions to such an extent that she believed his word that she was not ill rather then her own feelings that she was. On his instructions she allowed her child to be ripped away from her and for her self to be locked up in a nursery ...view middle of the document...

Looking at it all day and night she ends up believing that there is a woman behind the bars in the paper. Eventually the stress of being held captive in such a room completely alone brings Jean to her breaking point and causes her to completely loose her sanity. By blindly following her husband’s wishes she endangered her own well being.
Edna was also a woman of the Victorian period. She on the other hand was a radical of the time period. Edna disobeyed her husband and abandoned her place in the home. Instead of sacrificing herself to fit to the mold of an ideal Victorian lady she followed her passions. When Edna found herself unhappy with her marriage she looked for other satisfactions. The concept of such a sexual awakening was unheard of at that time. She was directed by her wants and lusts. These emotions lead her to have relations with Robert Lebrun and Alcee Arobin. Edna soon begins to live independent from her husband. Her independence soon increases to the point of solitude and in the end she drowns when she looses the strength to swim.
In both of these works you see similar ideas. Both Jean and Edna have over controlling husbands. Both of the husbands are shown to be proper Victorian males. They take very little time in the home but are the main controller of it none the less. Jean and Edna also shared the fact that they had children and neither of the women took care of the children. In both cases once the woman gained the freedom they desired they lost control because of the extreme measures it took them to get to that point. Both of the women break the conducts and confinement of the Victorian ideals.
The women in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Awakening had very different ideas on how a wife should act. The Victorian standards bring both women to horrid things. Whether the woman was obedient or obstinate it was difficult to live in that time. The contrasting actions of Jean and Ednazsgdfgm, xz.vkh

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