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The Yellow Wallpaper The Life and Times of an American Woman Writer in the 1800s The majority of the life that is known of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is concerned with her troubled and loveless relationships with her mother her father and her daughter These relationships are central to the life of Charlotte Perkins Gilman yet only somewhat relate to the incident in her life that sparked one of the greatest pieces of feminist literature ever written To be able to relate to Gilmans situation and appreciate The Yellow Wallpaper for how it shows womens lives is difficult in this age where women have more freedom than ever before Gilmans original intent in writing the story was to gain personal satisfaction from the knowledge that shows that she was right and society was wrong in the way they treated her But more importantly Gilman says It was not intended to drive people crazy but to save people from being driven crazy and it workedGilman 20 When the story first came out in 1892 the critics saw The Yellow Wallpaper as a description of female insanity and mayhem instead of a story that reveals societys values The thought that any woman would go against society might as well have been insane for writing it in the first place In the time period in which Gilman lived The ideal woman was not only assigned a social role that locked her into her home but she was also expected to like it to be cheerful and gay smiling and good humoredLane 109 The women who refused this role and chose a life of self-expression and freedom from the social constraints suffered ridicule and punishment from their peers This is not unlike the repercussions that Gilman experienced throughout her lifetime from expressing her need for independence In The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote about her emotional and psychological feelings of rejection from society as a free-thinking
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