" The Yellow Wallpaper", written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, is a short story that shows us an interesting perspective of how a man can significantly affect a woman's life. Gilman successfully portrays this point in her article. The story starts out with a young woman (the narrator) and her husband (John) traveling to the country for overcoming her "temporary nervous depression" (page 595). The narrator is not allowed to do anything but stare at the yellow wallpaper, which pushes her deeper into madness. She tries to convince her husband but he does not listen and just tells her to go to sleep. It is true that men play the dominant roles prior to the twentieth century. Throughout the story, we can see John determines what is wrong with his wife and treats her like a child. I feel pity for her since she has no individual thought and personality, but finally she has achieved her independence. Also, I don't like the husband because he is the symbol of society and he makes his wife like a prisoner.
I think Gilman is trying to point out that woman should be allowed to be an independent thinker in her work. But at the end of nineteenth century, the man controls the woman. Just like the main character in this story - the narrator. Many of her feelings and much of her behavior are reactions to what John says. For example, John says: " there is nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression, a slight hysterical tendency, what is one to do?" (Page 595) .
Although she " Personally, I disagree with their ideas"(Page 595), she still " take phosphates or phosphates and am absolutely forbidden to work until I am well again." (Page 595). We can see how her husband takes control of her mind and actions. What a pitiful woman! Since she loves her husband and trusts him, she will follow the "schedule prescription for each hour in the day" (Page 596). She also mentions that she often sees the woman (herself) creeping outside when she stares at the yellow wallpaper.