Jeffrey and Lonette Stayton Awards for Writing Charlotte Perkins Gilman had no way of knowing that a story she wrote in would one day be regarded as a classic in feminist literature. Early readers were appreciative of the sheer horror of the tale, and, indeed, it still stands as a wonderful example of the genre. As Gary Scharnhorst points out, this treatment originated with Dr. He could be viewed as the patriarchy itself, as Beverly Hume says, with his dismissal of all but the tangible and his constant condescension to his wife, but some critics have viewed this character as near-caricature
A site dedicated to Charlotte Perkins Gilmanprominent American short story and non-fiction writer, novelist, commercial artist, lecturer and feminist social reformer, and her life, her works, and her contemporaries.
Monday, April 14, III. Fiction "With a Purpose" vs. Literary Interpretation of the Subtext Even before The Yellow Wallpaper was published, the story sparked controversy throughout literary circles; when William Dean Howells submitted the story to Atlantic Monthly editor H.
Scudder, the latter rejected it and included the following message: Howells handed me this story. I could not forgive myself if I made others as miserable as I have made myself!
Conrad Shumaker explains that the nineteenth-century editor, critic, and reader did not have the cultural background required in order to accept, even as a horror story, the premise of a middle-class wife and mother slipping into insanity, even though the concept of madness was not exactly revolutionary in fiction, i.
Scudder's reaction is not at all surprising. When The Yellow Wallpaper was finally published in The New England Magazine in Maypublic reaction was strong; in many ways, Gilman had succeeded too well in conveying the horror of her mental distress.
For example, in a letter to the editor published in the Boston Transcript, "M. Apparently, many of Gilman's contemporaries echoed M. Not all reaction was negative, however, although praise seemed to be limited to the work's medical accuracy.
In an unpublished letter to Gilman, Dr. Brummel Jones writes I am overwhelmed with the delicacy of your touch and the correctness of your portrayal. From a doctor's standpoint, and I am a doctor, you have made a success.
|Feminist Gothic in "The Yellow Wallpaper"||Charlotte Perkins Gilman circa Gilman used her writing to explore the role of women in America during the late s and early s. She highlighted many issues such as the lack of a life outside the home and the oppressive forces of the patriarchal society.|
|Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Essay Sample||A feminist text will be written by a woman, and it will point out deficiencies in society regarding equal opportunity, and the reader will typically be aware of this motive. In a work of fiction, the main character, or heroine, personifies the social struggle against male domination.|
So far as I know, and I am fairly well up in literature, there has been no detailed account of incipient insanity qtd. Obviously, Jones was reading the story on a superficial level, thus fulfilling Gilman's first and primary purpose of informing the medical profession.
And untilreaders tended to view The Yellow Wallpaper primarily "as a Poe-esque tale of chilling horror--and as a story of mental aberration" Hedges In the "Afterword" of the Feminist Press revival of The Yellow Wallpaper, Elaine Hedges offers the first feminist interpretation of this work; she postulates that the piece is basically a feminist document, "dealing with sexual politics at a time when few writers felt free to do so, at least candidly" What makes Hedges' interpretation so rich and so plausible is her insistence that a reader should not separate author from storyand to that end outlines a brief biographical sketch.
Vivian Gornick offers a unique interpretation; in reviewing Anna, a "dairy" written by David Reed, an English writer whose wife had fought depression for years and then finally succumbed to her illness by killing herself, the reviewer uses The Yellow Wallpaper as comparison--except that in Anna, the narrator is the husband, the one who "suffers" from guilt.
After Anna kills herself, David reads her papers and discovers that, unknowingly, he had been smothering his wife in ways that John smothers Gilman's character. Gornick says, "Perhaps" is the operative word here; the word that is at the heart of the matter; the word that makes David Reed the husband in "The Yellow Wallpaper.
Perhaps she did feel caged Gornick seems to imply that had Gilman's protagonist killed herself, John might have experienced David's epiphany, and then felt some of the same agony and guilt that David feels when he realizes that, in large part, he is responsible for his wife's suicide. Although Gornick's theory is an interesting one, it is mainly speculation, for, from a textual standpoint, the reader does not get an adequate view of John's feelings.
We get only a glimmer of what might be going through his head, and the viewpoint is still the protagonist's: There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?
Thus, an attempt to figure what John is thinking and feeling might be an interesting experiment--albeit unprovable. Hence, perhaps critics should focus on Gilman's autobiography, notes, biographies, and text for their interpretations.
Kennard makes a good argument for interpreting the text based on a broadened definition of "convention," thus challenging some of the old traditional definitions of the term. For example, Northrop Frye defines a "literary convention" as "the contract agreed on by the reader before he can start reading" qtd.
Jonathan Culler refines that definition to include "a set of expectations--of significance, of metaphorical coherence, of thematic unity--which we impose on the text" qtd. Not satisfied, Kennard expands on these definitions by suggesting that, perhaps, the concept of changing conventions could involve nonliterary as well as literary influences Thus, readers might interpret a text based upon their culture, customs, and life experiences, as well as upon literary conventions learned at the academic level.
Kennard points out that when Elaine Hedges interpreted The Yellow Wallpaper in as a feminist piece, her views became widely accepted in the revised canon of American literature because we were "looking at a series of conventions available to readers of the s which were not available to those in " Kennard goes on to say that even Gilman herself as author may not have intended the work as a feminist piece, but rather, a work that depicts the narrator's slide into insanity.As seen above, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” has been interpreted in a variety of ways.
But one question that is still not fully answered is why many critics believe that the story was unreadable as a text with a feminist message in the late nineteenth century.
The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism. Share on whatsapp; Share on mail; By the first decade of the 20th century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the American poet, writer and lecturer for social reform, was regarded as the most significant Western feminist theorist of her day.
The Feminism of. Through this story, Gilman speaks of the imprisonment and psychological struggles placed on women by society.
In her mind, gender roles must be removed from the social order for women to ever be free. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (/ ˈ ɡ ɪ l m ən /); also Charlotte Perkins Stetson (July 3, – August 17, ), was a prominent American feminist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform.
Using feminist criticism, the reader can analyze Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper through John, Jane, and symbols. Page |1 Lea Weller - Feminism and Symbolism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a feminist and a creative writer who wrote a compelling short story entitled The Yellow Wallpaper.