November 30, 2004

Progession of feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Gilman was a young feminist, and I believe that she uses the character of Jane to progress the concept of feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper. When the story begins, Jane is not yet as sick as she will become, and at this point she tries to discuss with John about the current living arrangments. Although she has not been confined to the room yet, John does not want her to leave the house. It is at this point in the story that her supression begins.
When Jane returns to her journal after describing the wallpaper, it seems to the reader that she is spending the majority of her time in the room. Before Jane was allowed to roam the house, but now it seems that John pretty much confines her to her room. Even when she tries talking to John about the house and the room he hushes her. John as confined her to the house, to the room, does not allow her to take part in any sort of activity, and now does not even take her seriously let alone talk to her like an adult. The only sort of outlet Jane has is her journal.
Even though it seems that Jane has become a slave to the wallpaper, obsessing over its every aspect, she no longer takes an interest in John. And as we know John passes out in the end as he sees her frantically ripping down the wallpaper.
Gilman progresses Jane's triumph throughout the story. At first Jane allows John to supress her and confine her, but then she begins to come out. She takes no interest in him, she sleeps during the day in order to give her full attention to the wallpaper at night. Then Jane comes out literally, from the wallpaper and even adds that she must creep (step over) over John, who is now under her.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at November 30, 2004 04:33 PM
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