Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Yellow Paper in The Yellow Paper and Other Stories. Oxford University Press, USA, 1996.
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This short story portrays oppression of women and negligence her husband which lead the main character to psychological distress and madness. Gilman underlines that women have no freedom limited by false social values and traditions of domesticity and child bearing. The young woman is driven to insanity in spite of the fact that her husband, a physical, takes care about her and tries to protect from the world around.
The interior wall with floral decoration itself signifies the female repression or imprisonment in the short story. The young woman explains her struggle as “I wasn’t alone a bit! I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper (Gilman)” Gilman underlines that society and men are unable to treat women as equal and accept their rights and desires. I choose this story because it vividly portrays position of women in society and their problems caused by special values and perception of women.
Edelstein, S. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Yellow Newspaper. A Journal of American Women Writers, 24 (2007): 72.
This source describes problems of women and their social roles in 19th century England. The author evaluates role and importance of ‘yellow journalism’ identified as “media practices that exploit, distort, or exaggerate the news” (Edelstein).
As a women writer, Gilman fought against unfair practices against women and their literary works demanding fair treatment and equal rights with men. I choose this source because it goes beyond traditional interpretation of women literature and apply a unique vision and understanding of the world typical for Gilman. This article unveils values and beliefs of women and their understanding of culture and morality. Gilman calls attention to her gender and represents a woman’s point of view, emphasizing nature over culture. I choose this source because it portrays that a society is based on norms and morals stipulated by the society itself and if a person violates traditional norms she is perceived as a stranger who break the rules of a game.
Roth, M. Gilman’s Arabesque Wallpaper. Mosaic. 34 (2001): 145.
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This source places Gilman’s works in the context of 19th century England and analyses social and cultural principles and factors typical for this historical period. I choose this source because it helps to understand social changes and norms reflected in Gilman’s works. The author states that Gilman portrays the woman as a victim of man’s unfair behavior and social norms. Women live in patriarchal society that has developed to an extreme and exaggerated extent, but this exaggeration serves to highlight aspects of own society that might otherwise be less visible. Gilman portrays that women’s status in Victorian society and the roles they assumed were limited by worldviews and culture, the moral atmosphere and religion they cannot reject.
Hume, B.A. Managing Madness in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” Studies in American Fiction, 30 (2002): 3.
This source is based on psychological analysis of madness and its description in “Yellow Wall-Paper”. I choose this article because it helps to understand symbols and minor details used by Gilman. For instance, the author describes that yellow was a typical colon used as a treatment method in insanity hospitals. Also, the author unveils that dreams of many women fall far short of the conditions in society, largely because of the hardships imposed on the women by the ongoing war with men. Gilman underlines that marriage and woman’s happiness depends upon husband’s will rather than choices and desires of a wife.
The author underlines that “The Yellow Wall-Paper” appears to be a text that simultaneously mirrors Gilman’s ideological limitations as a feminist reformer and symbolically moves beyond those limitations” (Hume). This short story vividly portrays women’s’ voices and life expectations based on low social status and limited freedom and rights.
- Edelstein, S. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Yellow Newspaper. A Journal of American Women Writers, 24 (2007): 72.
- Gilman, Ch. P. The Yellow Paper and Other Stories. Oxford University Press, USA, 1996.
- Hume, B.A. Managing Madness in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” Studies in American Fiction, 30 (2002): 3.
- Roth, M. Gilman’s Arabesque Wallpaper. Mosaic. 34 (2001): 145.