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He Yellow Wallpaper

1084 words - 5 pages

"The Yellow Wallpaper" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was first published in 1892, and "The Story of an Hour" written by Kate Chopin, was written and first published under the title "The Dream of an Hour" in 1894. These two stories deal with the position of women in the late 1800’s. This era is especially interesting because women were still treated as second-class citizens. These two stories had a lot in common and shared a lot of the same views about life of women governed by the laws of men. Aside that both husbands, Mr. Mallard from "The Story of an Hour" and John from "The Yellow Wallpaper" are very similar as they both have a very strong hold and control over their wives, they ...view middle of the document...

The woman wants to experience her own life, but, more importantly to her, to have the ability to express herself and be creative. Challenging and subverting the expert prescription that forbids her to write, the journal evokes a sense of urgency and danger. “There comes John, and I must put this away, – he hates to have me write a word” (Gilman 57). Furthermore, visitors are absolutely not allowed. She says, “It is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about my work…but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now”(Gilman 58). Without a doubt John loved his wife, in the sense that he took care of her while she was ill. Not only had John taken care of his wife, he also moved out to a secluded colonial house for some time in order to have his wife in the optimal relaxed environment. Being a physician, John thought secluding his wife and restricting her from most or any activity at all was best for her. His actions had all the right intentions, and the compassion he showed was sincere, his wife even tells us “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction” (Gilman 56). She is virtually imprisoned in her bedroom, supposedly to allow her to rest and recover her health. Disturbed by the wallpaper, she asked for another room or for different paper; her husband argues with her not to give way to her “fancies” (Gilman 58). The wallpaper is to remain: acknowledgement of its reality is the first step toward freedom. At the end of the story, his husband surprisingly fainted as the narrator followed her own logic, her own perceptions, and her own projects into madness by destruction of the wallpaper “I've got out at last... And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!” (Gilman 70). The woman goes crazy for lack of freedom. She goes crazy and experiences her own type of freedom, but her freedom is only temporary, and once she...

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