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yellow wallpaper

            In the early 1800's women were given a subservient role in society. In marriage the husband could be viewed as the warden and the wife as the inmate. This left the woman to become dependent and therefore inferior. In "The Yellow Wall-Paper" the author Charlotte Gilman vividly writes the effects of oppression on women. The main character is suffering from mental depression because of the shackles her husband puts on her with his practical ideas of recovery. The wife is a creative spirit with her own ideas and thoughts, which she tries on numerous occasions to express to the husband only for him to view the ideas as insignificant and reply "blessed little goose." "The Yellow Wall-Paper" is about a woman's' perception of the control men have and the unwillingness for one woman to give into the male patriarchy. The writings in the wife's journals and the symbolic description of the wallpaper show the rising theme of feminism. .
             John is the husband who is also a doctor. His practical thinking with logic is what causes the psychological restraints in his wife. "He scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures." It is because of his philosophy for a rest cure he appropriately plays the male patriarch archetype. The wife demonstrates the first sign of feminism when she believes that he best cure for her is not rest. "Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change would do me good. But what is one to do?" The repeated phrase "what is one to do?" shows the power of men and her inability to express her feelings of recovery to her husband. The narrator's journal entries are prohibited. The husband disapproves of her writing because he feels it is her creativity of thought that is the cause of her depression. "There comes John, and I must put this away, -he hates to have me write a word." However, in spite of her husband's regulation she disobeys him and continues to write which symbolizes her outright defiance to not give into the social duties impressed upon her.

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