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Women Suppression & Male Chauvinism in the Story, The Yellow Wallpaper (Essay Sample)


The purpose of this essay is to anlyse the theme of wonem suppression and male chauvinism in the short story, ''the yellow wall paper'', by charlotte gilman. through the characters in the story the author shows the place of women has been reserved to home making and childrearing. even though the wife to john who is a physician can write and is ambitious the husband encloses her in the house and thus denies her the opportunity to get outside and explore her potential.


The yellow wallpaper
In most societies, a woman's role has been segregated and suppressed. Most people believe that the place of a woman is in rearing the children and nothing serious, like assuming a professional career. Women have been denied a chance to participate in meaningful activities in society until, in recent times, when women have started to consider a higher role like professional careers and the corporate world. The yellow war paper novel by Charlotte Gilman Perkins is about women suppression and a society that has been dominated by men. Although the yellow wallpaper speaks of other themes like identity and self-expression, the main idea is gender roles that is characterized by female suppression and male chauvinism.
The yellow wallpaper story features the family of John as the main character in the story. The family is made up of John, who is a physician and the protagonist of the story, his wife, who is the narrator, their daughter, and Jennie, the sister to John, who acts as a helper to the family. The family comes to a summer house for a vacation after John's wife gives birth to their daughter. However, the wife is suffering from some sought of mental breakdown. Since she had just given birth, it can be deduced that it is what some people term as postpartum depression. The doctor, who is also his husband prescribes rest for her cure, and he is pleased that the vacation will be helpful for her rest. He suggests a room for her in the house that had bar windows and a yellow wallpaper on the wall that was previously used as a nursery.
Even though the wife does not agree with the husband's prescription, he insists on rest and should not do anything. However, the wife believes distraction is good for her, and she starts to write behind John's back. John does not take the wife's sickness seriously and thinks a rest cure is enough. He does not give room for expression, and she has to follow what he says even when she feels otherwise. For example, he insists that she occupies an upper room, which has barred windows and a yellow wallpaper even if she does not like it. The wife hides in the idea that John is doing it out of love, even if this is not the truth. She says, "He is very careful and loving." John treats the wife as a child and does not give her room to express herself or practice her potential. For instance, he refers to her as "little girl" or "blessed little goose (Gilman 4)." It shows that he demeans her and thinks of her as a child. He chooses a room that was previously used as a nursery as a restroom for her with barred windows. Whenever she tries to oppose him, John gets angry and thinks she should follow his orders. He is not allowed to mingle with people just little company like from Jennie, who works for her and the daughter. The narrator lives like a prisoner in her own house. The bars in the windows resonates with most prison windows; thus, it signifies imprisonment. John does not think of her highly, and she is not allowed to participate in any intellectual activity, including writing.
John's character is a dominating one; he is inflexible and cannot think of anything outside his judgment for his wife. He sees his decision as the best, and the wife is not allowed to make any suggestions. For example, when she tries to talk about her illness with him, she seems worried and even starts crying. Instead of the husband seeing that she is suffering, he thinks she is unreasonable and cannot be trusted to make decisions. When she sugget to visit cousin Julia, he says, “ she wasn’t able to go nor able to stand it after she gets there (Gilman 7).” He silences her anytime she is about to bring out an idea. The only time John finds her logical is when she agrees with his choices. Speaking of her silence suffering, the narrator says, “John doesn’t know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfi

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