Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Whats the Ugliest Wallpaper of them All

Upon reading the Yellow Wallpaper, my original sentiments were that this lady is crazy and has really lost her mind. I was somewhat baffled by the ending of the story, and tad bit disappointed at the fact that I had just read that whole thing. Hell truth be told, I felt a little closer to insanity after reading the story. But after class discussions and revisiting the story, I almost feel sorry for the main character in this story.

Near the beginning of the story, the main character informs us that she knows she has a problem. She even goes as far as to say that it is probably best for her to get out of the house and socialize more. The men in her life, her brother and husband, feel otherwise. Her husband, a physician, says being more social would only hurt her, and therefore does not allow her to leave the house. In essence he confines her to their house where she spends most of her time analyzing this yellow wallpaper. And like the "good little girl" she was often called, she obeyed her husband's orders.

The fact that she does not venture outside of the house and does exactly what her husband says reiterates the roles in which women played in this time period. Women in this time period were basically treated like children. They had no rights, must tend to their husband's (and children's) every need, and their opinions did not matter. This idea or theme was found in The Son's Veto as well. In this story, the mother basically had no control over her life. Although she was older, she took whatever her son had to say as the law, and never once thought to disobey it. Even if it meant turning down a life of happiness for a life of lonliness and boredom, as was her case. It was obvious that in this time period, women were inferior to their husbands, or any other men for that matter.

I say that I feel sorry for the main character in the Yellow Wallpaper because I know that if I were forced to stay in a house, in complete isolation for no apparent reason, with nothing to do but sit and analyze yellow wallpaper, I would probably go crazy as well.

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