"A Feminist Critique of The Yellow Wallpaper"

Something every women needs is strength, if any male is asked in this world nine times out of ten they stay they are stronger, and smarter than any female. Those are what are called Misogynistic that think they have it all. Any girl they see that is who they control, but that’s not the case most of the time because the women will catch on, grow back her strength and fight back. In the Yellow Wallpaper John is that Misogynistic Male, and Jane is his women who had first lost all hope in herself but fights back in the end. Using feminist criticism, the reader can analyze Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper through one of the main Characters (John), Jane, and the setting.

John is the main character and Jane’s husband in this story. He is the Misogynistic male in this story for the reason that he controls Jane’s every move. He will not let her be independent and do anything herself. For example, “What is it, little girl?” He said. “Don’t go walking about like that, you’ll get cold.”(Perkins-Gilman) John calls her a little girl when obviously she is a grown woman that can make her own choices and decisions. If she gets up to walk around or even dare to leave the room, he would yell at her and act all concerned and tell her to lay back down. She’s never gotten a chance to do things on her own because she is married to john which controls her every move like a robot. Another example is “And dear john Gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed, and sat by me and read to me till it tired my head. “(Perkins-Gilman) That is something you would do to a baby but in his case Jane is Johns baby. He treats her like someone that would act like that to their own kid. Rocking her and calling her nicknames is something someone would do to their child.

Jane is the Victim in this story. She is trapped behind bars, and john is those bars. He keeps her in place and doesn’t let her do anything at all. One example is “The Faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.”(Perkins-Gilman) She was that faint figure. That confusing and faint figure behind that wall. She kept pushing and trying to break free to escape but she kept getting shut down. It was a sudden thing because in the beginning she would take whatever to please john and wouldn’t think about herself, but trying is better than giving up because it will actually make a difference and get you somewhere. Another example is “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight. It becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean and the woman behind is as plain as can be.”(Perkins-Gilman) No matter what time of day it is she is always trapped. Her mind is set in that mode and that mode only. Not to do something for herself. It’s all about john all day every day. Anyone can see it plainly and those bars are unbreakable.

The setting of this entire story is their house; a very depressing house with the main bedroom having a yellow wallpaper. A great description is shown throughout the story and it includes, “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide, plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.”(Perkins-Gilman) In the whole story Jane would sit there and wonder about this wall paper. What design it had to it, why it was the way it is, and what was the meaning behind the whole design. It was very boring at first but got interesting as she started studying it. Another example that shows john thinks her and the wallpaper is a joke is” I suppose John never was nervous in his life. He laughs at me so about this wall paper.” (Perkins-Gilman) John thinks the figure of the wallpaper is ridiculous and fake. He thinks she is crazy and it is just boring yellow wallpaper with nothing behind it.

In conclusion, all along this wallpaper wasn’t just any design. It was Jane. She was trapped behind the wall which symbolized john the entire story. John was the misogynistic male that did whatever to Jane whenever he wanted. Jane was the women that took at all but towards the very end fought back, and the setting of the house, put all the pieces together. The main bedroom made up this whole story into the true meaning. Feminist criticism is showed highly in this story by the setting, John, and Jane herself. The male is not always the strongest, even though they may be big and tough. Women still are very mentally and physically strong, so never let a male take control.





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