“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a great short story that allows a reader to provide a great deal of critique using feminism criticism. I would argue that this story illustrates the state of women in society and their relationships in the late 1800’s. Women of this time struggled with the finding freedom in their thoughts and the ability to express them how they see fit because men held all of the control over them. I would also argue that the author struggles with a society that is run by males and through her writing the reader can relate with how she feels given the time period in which this story takes place.
The amount of evidence to support these claims is abundant within this story. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage” is a statement made by the main character about her husband. John sees his wife’s thoughts and ideas as funny and doesn’t take them seriously. This goes to show that John even believes that society expects him to find his wife’s thoughts as comical. The physical and mental strain faced by women in this period are expressed through the main character’s description of her setting for a majority of the story. John’s refuses to change the walls to help his wife cope physically, he states “that after the wallpaper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on.” The wallpaper mentally restrains her and makes her feel as if she has been imprisoned through this description, “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!”