The Yellow Wallpaper

Historical Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” College

Although the feminist movement began to make a solid appearance in the United States in the mid 19th century, successful results did not show until the early 20th century. In the 1800s, women held little importance in society and had little to no voice. They had almost no power since they were not allowed to vote and were expected to be subordinate in marriage by always obliging to their husbands orders without any objection. The oppression of women in both marriage and society throughout the late 19th century is reflected in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In this story, the narrator was diagnosed with temporary nervous depression with a slight hysterical tendency by her physician husband and as a result they lived in a secluded colonial mansion for the summer as treatment. During their three months stay, the wife had very little interaction with the outside world, was forbidden from doing strenuous activities, and was not supposed to write. Due to her constant isolation and slim activity, she progressively hallucinated a woman who was trapped in the wallpaper of her room, and was trying to break free. The woman in the wallpaper was a reflection of the progressive woman in the United States during the...

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