The Yellow Wallpaper

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Critical Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"� Without mentioning her personal background, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses literature to express the difficulties in her own life as well as the difficulties in the lives of the women of her time period. Throughout her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper,"� the author uses literary techniques such as characterization to boldly develop the theme of feminism. By stressing the dominance of the male character, John, Gilman relates the anti-feminine views of the time period, as well as the difficulties in her own life, to the story. This heightens the reader's ability to thoroughly grasp the concept of the theme and get an overall understanding of the piece.

Even from the opening pages of the story Gilman begins using feministic views. "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage"�(Gilman 9). This shows the main character's views of her husband. It becomes clear, even at this early stage of the plot, that she is looked at as if she is below John.

She almost "expects"� to be laughed at by him. She continues to develop the theme of male dominance throughout the story.

It always appears that the main character is forced to do, and in some instances even believe, whatever it is that "John says."� "John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition...."�(Gilman 10). "John says if I feel so {sensitive and angry}, I shall neglect proper self control"¦"�(Gilman 11). One may argue that John is a doctor and is merely prescribing treatment for a disease, however, you must acknowledge that she has no choice or say in the matter. It is almost as if she is forced to accept it. It is a great example of how John is dominant over her.

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