"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story that portrays how men and women in the late nineteenth century are treated differently. The story itself was written from a feminist point of view. It shows how women struggled against the power of men, because society and the culture at the time felt it was the correct way to treat women. In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the role of the man, John, is clearly that of dominance, while the role of his wife is very domesticated and submissive. It is their coherence to these roles that eventually drive the narrator to insanity. .
John, the narrator's husband, plays the male role in the story. John is treated respectfully. John shows his dominance over the author. He is portrayed as the decision maker. "John is a physician," and not just a physician but a "physician of high standing"(92). In addition to providing for the family, John is also "very careful and loving" towards his wife (92). The narrator explains how she and her husband "came here solely on [her] account"(92). John is a traditional man of the late nineteenth century. First, he is portrayed as the man who brings home the income to support his family. Secondly, he is portrayed as a loving husband who cares deeply about his wife. Thirdly, he believes that there is something terribly wrong with his dear beloved wife. .
The narrator portrays women of the late nineteenth century. She portrays women to be very submissive. She did disagree with her beloved husband; .
however, she still followed his advice and knew that he was only doing this out of love. The narrator states, "Personally, [she] disagrees with their ideas," referring to the physicians that are her husband and brother (92). She was brought up knowing to obey her husband. She then obeyed everything he told her. She did not really truly appreciate what she was told to do. This made her some what resent her husband at times.