Thursday, July 25, 2019

Why is the story called, The Yellow Wallpaper Essay

Why is the story called, The Yellow Wallpaper - Essay Example The commonality between the two stories is that both of them tell about a husband’s suffocating grip on a woman’s life. In these stories, a husband has not been presented in a direct negative light; rather a husband’s care and kindness for a wife ironically prove to be harmful for a wife. The irony lies in the fact that in a patriarchal society, no matter how much a husband tries to be caring like the narrator’s husband in Gilman’s â€Å"The Yellow Wallpaper†, and kind like Mrs. Mallard’s husband in â€Å"Story of an Hour†, they are the patriarchal annihilators of the women’s freedom. In her story Gilman shows that a woman’s status in patriarchy is rather detrimental to her psychological growth, though ironically the narrator’s husband mistakes such restriction for his wife’s betterment. The narrator’s husband assumes that women were devoid of any intellectual capability. Therefore, he suggests that the protagonist refrains himself from any type intellectual and outdoor activities. In contradiction, the narrator strongly feels that participation in outdoor activities may improve her condition. The protagonist thinks that her betterment lies in something else than a restricted situation, â€Å"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 condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house† (Gilman, â€Å"The Yellow Wallpaper†). Gilman refers to the fact that women’s confinement within the four walls of their husbands’ house hampers their normal psychological growth. In the story, the narrator often refers to the suppressing presence of her husband in her life. At some point, referring to the seriousness of her condition she says, â€Å"If a physician of high standing, and oneâ₠¬â„¢s 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?† (Gilman). Here Gilman refers to the patriarchal constructs of the word, â€Å"husband†. For her, â€Å"one’s own husband† or ‘husband’ is empowered with the authority of ‘a physician of high standing’ who can rule on the psychophysical condition of his wife. Gilman shows that the patriarchal term ‘husband’ is as harmful for a wife as a physician, who is ignorant of his patient’s situation, is harmful to his patient. In her story, Chopin deals with the same story of a woman’s lack of freedom in a round-about way. In contradiction to others’ expectation Mrs. Mallard senses the gush of complacent freedom hearing the news of her husband’s death. She feels sad. But concurrently she also feels the complace nce at her oncoming freedom, as the narrator describes Mrs. Mallard’s joy in the following manner: â€Å"There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name† (Chopin, â€Å"Story of an Hour†). At the news of Bentley’s death, she feels the prospect of living a life of enormous freedom and joy. But since in patriarchy a woman is not accustomed to express herself freely, she fears even to acknowledge the source of mirth and ecstasy. Though â€Å"she was striving to beat it back with her will† (Chopin, â€Å"Story of an Hour†), she fails to do so. Indeed it is her self-realization and her acknowledgement that the death of her husband and the prospect of living a free life are the sources of her ecstasies. But gradually before the unexpected

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