How To Write A Thesis Statement For The Yellow Wallpaper
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a popular literary piece for critical analysis, especially in women’s gender studies. It focuses on several inequalities in the relation between John and his wife. It was published for the first time in 1892 in a New England magazine and is considered to be one of the earliest and essential feminist literary pieces in America. The story illustrates the physical as well as the mental deterioration of women during the 19 century due to a medically prescribed treatment of being allowed to do nothing. Gilman created a very effective fictional narrative based on her personal experience with depression, and this had a strong impact on other women. This story was written to condemn the sexual politics which make the medical treatment prescribed possible.
The story is critically acclaimed because it brings into focus the unequal relationship the males and females in the society. The male gender is perceived to dominate society while the female gender is not given the space to make decisions independently of men. This is seen in the instances when John belittles his wife’s creative endeavors. John does not respect his wife, and so he treats her like one of his children by calling her a little girl.
This makes the wife dislike her house. To her, the environment seems too isolated, making her unhappy. The story portrays women in Western society as deprived of their rights. Instead, they are treated like objects or men’s possessions. They have nowhere to exercise their personal freedoms, and they feel belittled by the male counterparts. For instance, John keeps on dismissing his wife’s thoughts and opinions. He believes that his wife should depend solely on him for almost everything. This is why this story has enjoyed such popularity, mostly by women who feel that they deserve a better place in the society, that they need space to exercise their creativity and productivity. Women feel they have strong potential and the ability to do anything, just like men do, and they should not depend on men for everything. Rather, they should depend on men as much as men depend on women.
Women should have their decisions respected, and no one should dismiss their ideas. Instead, ideas should be shared and debated, regardless of gender. Moreover, men should support women as equals rather than belittle them.
In Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” John acts as the mirror through which women are viewed negatively in the society, a society in which women are not perceived to be full citizens. They are not supposed to be anywhere near the political arena or in the public eye. Instead, they should remain in their homes. This view has led to women fighting for their rights through creating women movements to fight for their place in the society.
Tips on Writing a Critical Essay over a Literary Piece
First, it is important to understand that a critical essay is not a criticism of the literary piece or of its author. It is your reaction or response to the piece.
Begin by reading the piece several times, if possible. Highlight and make notes on anything that captures your attention. That could be a phrase, a character’s thought or action, or an event. Then analyze why that interests you. What is the significance? What is the writer trying to achieve? Knowing the writer’s background and the social or historical time period in which a story takes place is helpful in understanding the significance of characters or story events. Then, create a thesis statement that reflects your opinion about some aspect of the literary piece. Next, utilize evidence from the piece to support your opinion. Finally, organize your writing in a logical fashion. Do not retell the story or present details in chronological order. Assume your reader knows the literary piece being discussed and is interested in your opinion and how you support it.
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In The Yellow Wallpaper, the author uses a number of literary devices to express the political theme of feminism and the oppression of women. To achieve her goal of expressing feminist sentiment in The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman creates a narrator who is at once expressive about her feelings but is also prone to devaluing her own assessments. While this, along with her constant assertions that she is going mad, creates an unreliable narrator, it allows her to convey several different emotions as her moods change. This in turn allows Gilman to posit two theories about her main character; either she is insane or she is suffering from these feelings of oppression. It appears that the latter is the case as the narrator remarks on her unhappiness and ties her husband’s treatment of her to this in subsequent statements. The overall effect, combined with clever uses of symbolism that enhance the theme of the oppression of women in The Yellow Wallpaper, is that the reader leaves thinking that her husband is more than a little responsible for the conclusion.Part of Gilman’s technique in expressing her political theme in The Yellow Wallpaper is centered in her use narration. The author has created a narrator who is not entirely reliable yet is prone to making very potent statements about her situation as an oppressed woman. Although she peppers her complaints about feeling trapped and unhappy with admissions that it all might be because of her nervous condition (as opposed to a legitimate sense of oppression by her husband) it is nearly impossible for the reader to ignore the fact that it might be her husband’s treatment of her that is the problem. For instance, Gilman’s narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper tends to make seemingly innocent remarks such as, “John laughs at me, if course, but one expects that in marriage" (833) and “he is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction" (834). While such “offhand" comments about the nature of her relationship and marriage might not be taken seriously in another more comedic context, the narrator’s growing madness makes these statements about John’s habit of being overprotective and oppressive impossible to shrug off. By creating a character whose narration becomes increasingly out of touch and mad, the narrator’s statements that follow the more innocent claims discussed above are to be taken more seriously. For instance, just after one of her more innocent-sounding remarks about marriage, the narrator states in one of the important quotes from The Yellow Wallpaper, “I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition" (833). Although she says it is probably due to her condition, the reader cannot help but wonder why, only a few paragraphs later, she reveals that despite her love for writing, “He hates to have me write a word" (834). This narrator is clearly feeling trapped in a marriage that does not allow her freedom. Meanwhile, as a man, her husband is free to come and go. This inability for her to express herself in a meaningful way eventually leads her to associate herself with the woman in the wallpaper who looks to be, like the narrator, behind bars or in a cage.
As this thesis statement for The Yellow Wallpaper