The “Freedom” Behind the Wallpaper: Annotated Bibliography and summary

The “Freedom” Behind the Wallpaper

Annotated Sources:

Lanser, Susan S. “Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,” and the Politics of Color in America.” Feminist Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, 1989, pp. 415–441. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3177938.

Susan S Lanser argues that the “The Yellow Wallpaper” is accusing the widespread “machismo” and “sexism” present in the United States during the 19-century s. She wrote this article despite the feminist criticism and the society’s political context.

I will cite Lanser’s “Most feminist analyses of “The Yellow Wallpaper” have in fact recognized this bind without pursuing it…”  (Susan 421) to support me to prove that the 19 century’s society was unfair for female and that kind of discrimination from society can trigger a woman become crazy and lose themselves.

Ford, Karen. “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and Women’s Discourse.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 4, no. 2, 1985, pp. 309–314. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/463709.

Karen Ford claims that “The Yellow Wallpaper” raised two questions, first is the definition of “patriarchal discourse,” Second, through careful reading of the story, she became suspicious of the image of the wallpaper, causing her to question the notion of female discourse.

I will cite “If the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” in any sense discovers women’s discourse, it exists in the blankness behind the wallpaper. She certainly associates that blankness with freedom: “I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” (36). But is this freedom of expression, and if so, at what cost does she achieve it?” (Ford 312) respectively by two parts, first, why women’s discourse is behind the wallpaper, second, is pulled all wallpaper can make a woman get the freedom of expression.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The yellow wallpaper.” The Carolina Reader. Ed. Nicole Fisk, Katelyn Porubsky. Hayden McNeil, Fall 2017 edition, pp. 324-338.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman claims that “The Yellow Wallpaper” made women to become victims of stress and depression.  She authored this article to point out the negative psychological effect women suffered from after being locked inside a room for long.

I will cite Charlotte’s “John ‘knows I don’t sleep very well at night… He asked me all sorts of questions, too, and pretended to be very loving and kind” (Charlotte 335) to prove that despite women showing not to be comfortable with being forced to segregation, they were assumed.

Summary of Argument:

In the 19 century, women were taken as children, and their demands were disregarded. This sort of discrimination lowered the esteem of the females and made them feel less human. It is quite evident that during this era the psychiatry and society at large gave different treatment to women and men. If a man was reported to be suffering from distress, he was advised to seek entertainment, be in the company of friends most of his time and try being jovial at all times. As we can see this is a good recommendation that aims at improving the health and well-being of the victim. But t should also be noted that women we not considered to be the company a man in anguish was advised to seek. Here we note that women were discriminated and regarded to be useless.  A woman did not seem as though she could help a man be active. And as result of this assumption women took themselves as worthless individuals in the society.

If it we a woman that claimed to be suffering from the same anguish as a man the kind of treatment issued to her was different. The discrimination the female gender was subjected to could easily trigger insanity. To start with it made them feel like they did not matter at all. Their issues were just not concrete, and it made no difference whether they opened up about them or just kept them to themselves. Suppressing emotional stress can be catastrophic as it affects the neurological cycle from being ordinary. Women are as significant as men, and they undergo the same psychological breakdown as the opposite gender. Therefore, Lanser is on the right track as she says that the unfair treatment ladies were subjected to would have lead to them breaking down psychological. What creates a discrepancy between a mad person and a sane individual is that one of them has a variety of things to speak of while the other has only one. These variations of matters to talk about are made almost unattainable to women when they are denied the same opportunity as men to socialize.

Women are not heard neither are they treated with respect. From what Charlotte writes it can be concluded that in the 19-century ladies did not have a voice in absolutely anything. For instance, we see a husband that is well aware that the wife is not doing well and although she tries to remind him of her deteriorating health all these fall n deaf ears. John, the husband, refuses that acknowledges that his wife might be suffering some brain damages. Whenever the wife raises an issue affecting her, the husband takes it as something petty and even affords to laugh. Women who were in marriages during this era did not see the essence of communicating with their spouses. Men consider themselves to be extremely wise and invisible to the opposite sex. Whatever they say is the final thing, and there is no way rain or shine a woman can convince them otherwise.

Male-dominated opinions are prevailing as Charlotte shows all the male characters in her story share the same idea. None of them seem even to care to examine what the female character has to say despite them being close to her. The society believes in the submissiveness of women to their husbands under all circumstances. However, this should not be the case as men in this setting do not care for the wellbeing of the females. The level of submissiveness that the society requires women to be to their husbands is some slavery, in the sense that it denies someone the liberty to live life fully. If true affection was given to women then perhaps being submissive to their men would not seem to be a bad thing.

Also, there is a lot of faking among men; this is why a character like John continually asks the wife questions that show that he is concerned about her well being but he does not listen to the feedback she gives. It is as though inquiring the condition of women is a rhetorical query that does not require answering. The kind of treatment that women receive in this society is responsible for them losing their mind and men are to blame. For instance, since no one takes john’s wife seriously she became withdrawn from her thoughts which made her mentally unstable and paranoid. Consequently, regarding the above aspects, it is undoubtedly true that social constraints and the man domination in the 19th century played a significant role in women mental disorders and discrimination.

From Gilman’s story, Jane is always forced to stay in her room and as the starts to look for something to think about she notices the yellow wallpaper. We are told of how she hated the color based on how she speaks of it. She must have been lonely to reach a level of just hating on a color. She, therefore, yearns to be delivered from the wallpaper which has become too fond of. Although when the husband asked Jane asked to be staying in the room his intentions were ‘good’ trapping her was not the best choice of action to take. As the wife was segregated, she began to develop thoughts that her husband denied her freedom (Charlotte 336). At the same time, Jane’s body tries assuming that John asked her to be spending time in the room because he loved her. At the end of it, her brain conflicted not knowing what to believe. She is subjected to psychological torture which is not good for anyone’s health especially when it lasts long.

As Jane loses her sanity we not from the things she says that her husband is to blame and it had always been her desire to be a free being. She says that final she has been able to pull off most of the paper and John cannot put her back in the wallpaper. According to this statement, we see that she finally solved the dilemma that had been disturbing her, now she disagrees with her body.

Work Cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The yellow wallpaper.” The Carolina Reader. Ed. Nicole Fisk, Katelyn Porubsky. Hayden McNeil, Fall 2017 edition, pp. 324-338.

Ford, Karen. “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and Women’s Discourse.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 4, no. 2, 1985, pp. 309–314. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/463709.

Lanser, Susan S. “Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,” and the Politics of Color in America.” Feminist Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, 1989, pp. 415–441. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3177938.

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