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An Illustration of the Narrator's Plight in the Victorian Era in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Word Count: 1,488
The Yellow Wallpaper illustrates the narrators plight in the Victorian era The main character the narrator is a woman suffering from depression in a time when women were totally dependent on men and often dismissed as being nervous and hysterical females The inability of women to become active persons in their own lives as well as societys decision making processes being dominated by men contributed to the narrators malaise The story is told from the female perspective a depressed woman struggling to surviveThe story takes place at a summer vacation home where the narrators husband a physician treats her depression in a condescending manner He either placates her or dismisses her feelings typical of the Victorian era If a physician of high standing and ones own husband assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency-what is one to do 658 This is an example of her oppressed female status in the existing society as well as in her own life Other dominant males in her life also hold the same opinion My brother is also a physician and also of high standings and he says the same thing658 Again this demonstrates a sign of the times where males dominated This viewpoint causes the narrator to question herself and her feelings as well as to justify the males opinion I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus - but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition658 She disregards her own feelings Once her feelings and needs are dismissed by John she does not pursue the conversation further This denial of her feelings along with the isolation only exacerbates the depression Yet social pressures cause the narrator to still value her husbands opinion With her Victorian background she perceives that love is her husband taking care of her
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