October 3, 2009
“The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Awakening
The Victorian Era put great constraints on society. The social standards had an intense impact on the people, especially the women. Woman reacted in an array of ways to the male controlled era. This contrast is evident in “the Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The woman in these works had similar situations but made very different life choices.
Jean was a woman of Victorian times. She was submissive in every way to her husband. She trusted his decisions to such an extent that she believed his word that she was not ill rather then her own feelings that she was. On his instructions she allowed her child to be ripped away from her and for her self to be locked up in a nursery of an old house he had found. Any requests to make her stay more comfortable was pushed aside and considered ridiculous. One request that was made was to get rid of the yellow wall paper that filled the room. It was described as “One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin… The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. “ Her husband ignored this request considering it frivolous. But in the end it is this wall paper that frees her. Looking at it all day and night she ends up believing that there is a woman behind the bars in the paper. Eventually the stress of being held captive in such a room completely alone brings Jean to her breaking point and causes her to completely loose her sanity. By blindly following her husband’s wishes she endangered her own well being.
Edna was also a woman of the Victorian period. She on the other hand was a radical of the time period. Edna disobeyed her husband and abandoned her place in the home. Instead of sacrificing herself to fit to the mold of an ideal Victorian lady she followed her passions. When Edna found herself...