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The Yellow Wall-Paper – 10/14

I thought this reading was a very interesting way of portraying women’s suffrage. The story portrayed John, a male, who doesn’t allow her to do much or leave. He says she has depression and doesn’t allow her to interact with many people. This relationship and the control John has over her, demonstrates the relationship between men and women during this time. She also keeps her thoughts behind this wall which demonstrates how during this time, women couldn’t be outspoken about their private lives. John keeps telling her that her depression will get better here and she shouldn’t leave, but deep down all she wants and needs is o go out in public and have people around her.

The other thing I found really interesting was the way the wall-paper was described throughout the story. She mentions wanting it being like metal bars in front of the wall. The first thought that came to my mind was that she feels as if she is in prison. She is not able to leave and do what she wants to do, or have the same rights as a man, which in a way is similar to the way prisoners don’t have the same rights as people who aren’t incarcerated. She also mentions the shadows on the wall portraying a woman trying to escape, which reminded me of her situation. At the end, she says “I’ve got out at last, and I’ve pulled off most of the paper so you can’t put me back!” To me this was her way of standing up for herself and other women, as well as her saying she was done being scared of her husband or of speaking out. Reading this perspective showed me why women fought so long for their right to vote.

While 72 years is an extremely long time, women were fed up, but they also had a different perspective toward the end. The second generation of suffrage’s were different. The video explained the reasoning for this as women who were already fighting for their rights who had kids, raised their daughters to feel strong and empowered. Their daughters then took on the role of fighting for women rights as well. One line that stuck out to me in the videos was when Mott said, “not every man is a tyrant, but the law gives every man the right of tyranny.” I thought this portrayed the importance of women fighting for their rights because while not every man treats women with little respect, the law makes it okay for them to. Taking that right away from men was so important, not only because it made women equal, but also because it was inevitable, the same way ending slavery was inevitable.

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2 Comments

  1. Julia Leonardi Julia Leonardi

    I love the idea of the wallpaper itself too. The way the author describes the wallpaper ultimately describes the narrator. She has become so obsessed with the wallpaper and the shapes within it that she becomes the wallpaper through her spiraling into insanity. She is the hunched lady who is trapped in the wallpaper. I love the usage of the word creep; it is said that “she crept with her.” It is such a telling word, it is almost associated with witchcraft. This can also tell us a bit of how the narrator was seen and how women were seen at the time.

  2. Tess Keating Tess Keating

    This story does a good job of portraying discrimination against women in general, while also commenting on the mental health stigma. To this day there is still the idea that mental health problems need to be hidden and shoved away, like John did to his wives.

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