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Charlotte Gilman wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ showing many different points from the story, but the biggest was feminism. She shows how marriages were back then, you weren’t allowed to own anything your husband took care of you. The story shows how women back then didn’t even have a say so in anything. But in the end, you can always overcome and rise above anything that you set your mind to. Back then women were treated very poorly and in the story the author shows how feminism was a problem at that time.

At one point in the story, it talks about how the narrator sees a woman trapped in the wall and cannot get out. Back then, as I said, they couldn’t do anything without the approval of the husband. Showing any signs of thoughts was wrong, you weren’t allowed to, that’s why in the story John would look at his wife funny if she would say anything that he didn’t think was right. But throughout the story, the husband can be seen going out and doing what he wants while she is at home. Feminism is still evident in our time, but not as bad as when this story was written. It does show that no matter how bad things are, you can still overcome them, as she finally did.

The whole reason that the family was in this home was something called ‘rest cure’. Where all the woman could do was sit there, and she had to be helped all day. They couldn’t even bathe themselves, they had to be helped, and if you were on this rest cure, you could not take care of your children. This is said to be what the narrator in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ was having to do because her husband thought she was ill and needed treatment for this.

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Back then, they did not have all the resources that we have today, so if you showed any signs of sickness, they thought you were crazy, and of course, the men had the final say so. That kind of ties around the whole point of feminism, where the men did what they wanted while the women got treated like garbage in this period. Even having any kind of thoughts that weren’t deemed normal, they would send them for the rest cure for 6-8 weeks.

‘Feminism: The Pocket Essential Guide’ states that feminism can be traced from the late 18th century, but was called ‘women’s liberation’. The author also states that “feminism has become a huge area of study since the resurgence of the women’s movement in the sixties”. Feminism was a big deal to people at that time, women were not getting treated fair. Women were treated differently than the man was unfairly actually. You could not own any land, it was your husband, and if you did and your husband wanted to sell it, he could, and he would not have to ask you about it. How it ties into the story is that at that time you had no say, so in your life, you were controlled and told what to do all the time. And like the narrator in the story finally being able to be her true self, that is how the world was about feminism, we finally came to the sense that we could overcome it.

At the end of the story, it says: “He fainted across my path by the wall so that I had to creep over him every time”. It could be that maybe the roles were reversed, instead of her being trapped, she is free and now John is trapped. Something else that I had pulled from the story was that she told Jane and John she pulled all the wallpaper off so that they couldn’t put her back. Meaning that she finally broke free to become the person she wanted to be and didn’t want to go back to the old person she was no matter how hard they would try. In some parts of the story, I believe Jane realizes that she is sick and wants to help, but does not know how to.

Summing up, at the time Charlotte Gilman wrote her ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, women were treated very badly, and in her story, she shows how feminism was an issue at the time. Feminism did change over time, even though it is still evident in our time, today not as bad. I feel like feminism to the author is being in a bad situation you can always find a way to overcome it.

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