Mechanical

Femininity in The Yellow Wallpaper and Woman Hollering Creek

Literary works portray the themes of femininity, which is the reflection of the society in which the characters live. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros are two such works that depict feminism.Protagonists in both these stories suffer injustice from the hands of their husband and finally breaks away from the relationship The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story of repression of women. In the story the husband’s domineering nature has imprisoned the wife into a domestic prison. It is the tale of insanity. In this sad story, the narrator the young woman is driven to insanity by her dominating husband. Even though her husband John was very much caring and loving, he never realized that his wife is a human being. He was blind to her desires, longings and wishes. John the husband-doctor was too mechanical and never allowed his wife to come to her self. The subjugation that prevailed in the society made women treated as subhuman. They were just considered as vessels of fertility and had the mere privilege of a set of ovaries and a womb. The novel is all about women’s rights. The central character of the novel, the narrator fought for the same cause. The narrator attempts to become a strong individual even though she was being locked in a male dominated world. The feminist ideologies of the narrator are evident throughout her talk. She was found subordinate to her husband John who believed that women are frail and can never make decision of their own. The narrator’s great passion for life and her strong feministic beliefs do not allowed her to be in the controlled world of her husband. Her house appeared as a prison for her all through these days. The narrator was always under the care of someone, her brother and then her husband. Both of them being doctors do not understand her mind. They are least flexible and only look for her physical recovery. They do not allow her to indulge in something that she wanted to indulge in. She wanted to write. may be she wanted to pour out her depression into words. She was of the belief that more mental and physical activity would solve her problems. She never desired to have physical rest. However her husband and brother were not able to understand this and compelled her to be under complete rest that would make her free from any activity. They were not able to comprehend their self and did not even attempt to understand her. The male dominated world never wanted the husbands to understand their wives. The narrator’s husband and brother did not have any plan to listen to the narrator. The Yellow Wall-Paper shows a traumatized middle-class woman’s exhibiting signs of trauma because of the society’s expectations on her (Aksehir 2008). Her traumatizing experiences as a female reflect as a hallucination of a helpless individual who is trapped in the yellow wallpaper in her room (Aksehir 2008). The period in the novel represents the period when women are inferior to men physically, mentally and intellectually. The cultural, racial, religious and other pressures subdued women to a good extent. Young girls were supposed to follow their mother’s path of cooking, cleaning and child caring and are supposed to become good house wives as they grow up. Women were considered as feeble compared to men. They were confined to the jobs that require less labor. Maternity, the biological and natural role of women has been considered as their one and only role. In the novel the narrator was confined to her and was not permitted to have any outside contact. This pushed her to depression and finally made her mad. We can see that this mental depression was enforced into the narrator by the society around her. Her life was like that of a butterfly that is trying to get out of the cocoon to show its true colors. We can see her striving, throughout the play, and finally collapsing. Even though the husband John loved her very much, the

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