Chapter 2 Female’s Oppression and Silence in The Yellow Wallpaper and Washington Square
Prior to the twentieth century, women’s roles were assigned and defined by men.
In the nineteenth-century America, women, as agents of moral influence were expected to maintain the domestic sphere as a cheerful and pure haven for their husband to return to each evening.American Historian, Barbara Welter in her 1966 article mentions the term “The Cult of True Womanhood”, and argues that the prescriptive literature of the mid-nineteenth century condensed women, mostly middle class women, to four virtues: “piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity” (Welter, 152). This ideal had “prescribed a female role bound by kitchen and nursery, overlaid with piety and purity, and crowned with subservience” (Rosenberg, 13)
2.1 Oppression and Silence in The Yellow Wallpaper
The Yellow Wallpaper is contextualized in a patriarchal definition of true womanhood. The couple, John and his nameless wife, are undoubtedly from a middle-class household. The husband, as a physician of high standing, possesses a considerable fame and thus occupies a certain social status (during their time in the isolated sanitarium he has been fairly busy out for cases, even during the night.) Confined by objective conditions like physiology and economy together with subjective factors,women were forced to be "entrapped" in families and caged in houses, becoming accessories of men. therefore, the wife was restricted, confined and imprisoned. John is just a representative of most men at that time. History has entrusted them the absolute and supreme power. in the male- oriented families, men were dominators who controlled everything. Therefore the wife has lost her way to speak out her appeal and become aphasia.
2.1.1 On Career
In the view of feminists, language is not only the tool used to communicate with others but also the tactics used to form gender discrimination and oppression. They think...