Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Woman Behind the Bars

Do you think that "The Yellow Wallpaper" could be considered a feminist story? In other words, what does this story have to say about women, men, and power? As you explain your thinking, cite one specific example from the story to defend your ideas.

Please respond by midnight tonight.

27 comments:

nathanb said...

In my opinion The Yellow Wallpaper is a reach out for help. The author made it seem like the men had all of the power. She did this by repeating the word, “Respectable.” This is showing that men were being treated with respect. However, she never uses that word to describe herself. So all that being said I do think The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist movement.

Travisg said...

Yes I think that it could be considered a Feminist book because there are lots of refrences to her feeling trapped in the story. When in the end she is watching him so she can get out and do other things that she wants to do. If she had been cough she would have gotten yelled at so I think that she was afraid to tell him that she wanted to do thing outside just sitting in her room. This shows to me that she was scared to confront him but she had put up with it enough to not care if he new or not.

TraciAnn said...

I believe that yes The Yellow Wall-paper could be considered a feminist story. "...he hates to have me write a word." This shows that John is very controlling and does not respect her decision to write. She has no power over him in this story. I also agree with travis that she is trapped in the house.

Maria A. said...

The Yellow Wallpaper tells me that women have less strength than men because today I found out that the female was going crazy because of a mental disorder. This mental disorder apperently only occurs in women, well at least it did back then, and that they start seeing things. It seemed like the woman was trapt in the house and the man had more freedom. For example, in the story, the man put the woman in the nursery to make her heal from her being "sick" and she was pretty much trapt in the house and it did not say anything about her leaving the house after they bought it and moved in. So I think that the man had more power than the woman in this story of The Yellow Wallpaper.

kaseyb said...

I most definately think that this could be considered a feminist novel. The woman that the narrator sees in the wallpaper, I think, is a vision of herself. She is trapped behind bars and I think the bars symbolize men in her life. She feels trapped by her husband and wants to break free.

TrevorKG said...

I think that because of her background as a humanist I think that all these women in hte wallpaper signify all the women trapped by hteir husbands and that the more she was trapped by her husband the more women she saw.

amandab said...

I think that this story is a feminist story because it's describing how women feel and how they are over powered by men and how they feel that they are less superior. I think that she's is showing that men are favored and they always have control. "John does not know how much i really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him."

Brookeg said...

Yes i agree that this was a feminist story, because her every move was controlled by her husband. She did not get to have choices or opinions, or even voice her own thoughts. It was ridiculous that she was not able to write or leave the house.

JennaF said...

I believe that this story is a bit feminist, but is does in fact make a very good point when it comes to the power struggle between men and women. In that time period, the men had all the power; the women were merely to follow them blindly. As they follow, these women begin to see that they can become more than what they are but are refused the chance. Thos refusals by the males of the world can in the worst case, I believe, send them into depression. The woman in the story simply wanted freedom from her husband. An example of this was when the woman's husband insisted she was fine and that she needn't worry. She protested at first, angering her husband until he forced her to do as he said. The woman then consented but disobeyed him when he was not present by "creeping." I believe that the woman was quite insane but she retained a bit of sanity that told her to free herself from her husband. The man had all the power until he found her stripping the wallpaper from the walls. The tables turned and he lost his power over her.

rachelf said...

I think that this story is a feminist story. I think the narrator does feel trapped, and I really like what Kasey said about the bars being men. Also she says she is afraid of John which shows that he was the dominant one in the relationship. “The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John.” She doesn’t tell him that she doesn’t sleep at night, and just tells him what he wants to hear. Like Traci said, he doesn’t want her writing and whenever she tells him something he laughs it off.

mackenzief said...

I really agree with Travis and Traci. This seems like a feminist story. John doesn't like to see her writing, and by that it seems like he is pretty controlling. It also seems like a feminist story because, like kacey stated, the men seem like the bars in her life, holding her back and not letting her do what she wants to do. And they don't care if she is "sick" or not.

Tabitha said...

I believe the story is not feminist. It shows a woman’s struggle to live a normal life and to be content. It may seem like John was controlling his wife, but truthfully she needed a lot more then just bed rest. If she was in the same position as John and John was having mental disabilities, it would’ve been rude of her not to do the same. In my opinion he did it out of love and that his wife wouldn’t have ever recovered. She was in her own state of mind and had problems only revolving around her.

Keiko A said...

I also think that "The Yellow Wallpaper" could be seen as a feminist story because it portrayed the image that her husband was holding her back from getting better. It also shows that women are strong and can handle their problems on their own with no help from anyone else. In the story although she disagreed with what John said she said that she respected his opinion and considered it when she thought of an explination.

hilary l said...

I think that the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is a feminist novel because the story is about a woman who is going through a rough time because she is pressured to have a good family and live a good life. It seems like the women in the wallpaper is a symbol of the narrator because she feels as if she is locked behind bars because she is not aloud to do anything because her husband will not let her. The man in this story has power over the women and she feels intimidated by him and that is why she has to hide the fact that she is writing.

toreinm said...

I agree with Maria in what she said about the mental disorder. It was something men thought only occured in women, which meant that they had to be treated while men did not.
Also, it made it look like John had control over her. John seemed to control everything she did, and he kept her locked up in her room all day.
Overall it seems to be a very feminist story.

Allison M. said...

I would definately say that "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a feminist story. Like Rachel said, the woman states that she is at times afraid of her husband. It seems like he has all the say in their marriage, and he makes all of the decisions. He looks upon her as if she is lesser than him, and she "needs" him to take care of her. He is always laughing off whatever comment she makes. It would seem he cannot take her seriously, or whatever she has to say is of no importance. In the story it states that John told her "she must take care of herself for his sake". He seems awfully selfish, and that she should only do things for his benefit. The idea of the woman creeping behind the wallpaper and then finally breakng out, to me, resembles the idea of women finally standing up for their rights and independance. The narrator of this story seems to be so isolated and alone, it is almost as if her husband is putting her away because she is of no importance. The author might have also wrote it to reach out to other women who feel unimportant and belittled. Also, after reading the backround information about the authors life, I found that she was very active in the womens suffrage movement. Having said that, I would say that this story could most certainly be considered a feminist story.

jenniferb said...

I think this is a feminist story because she talks a lot about her feelings and how she feels trapped. I agree with Kasey, the woman in the story feels like she is trapped behind bars. Her husband is keeping her locked up and away from others, so in a way he has the power over her. In the story she tells how she wants to visit her relatives but John refuses her to see them. He is controlling everything she does while he is around.

Whitney C said...

Yes “The Yellow Wallpaper” could be considered a feminist story because the narrators husband seems to have control over her. “John is a physician, and perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster.” I agree with what both Kasey and Allison said. The bars restraining the woman on the wallpaper do seem as they could be men, which could be symbolizing the narrator’s husband and how he is restraining the narrator. It also seems like the narrator’s husband has the power in her life. “He hates to have me write a word.” This story very well can be a feminist story by the way it expresses how the narrator is a woman and incapable of doing much with her life because her husband has been controlling the narrator’s life.

chadf said...

I would have to agree with what Jennifer and Kasey said. It really seemed that John was showing that he had the power over her by making her stay in her room. Also this short story was written when women were trying to earn their rights in America and show that they were equal. Although the laws that gave women some of the same rights of men were not passed until the 20th the struggle for women to get rights was still going on during this time and this story really shows it.

KaylaL said...

I agree with everyone that says "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a feminist story. I agree with Amanda when she says that the narrator was overpowered by her husband. Her husband wants to control everything she does, he especially doesn't want her to write. He seems like a controlling man.

jake a. said...
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jake a. said...

In my opinion the Yellow Wall Paper could be considered an feminist story because of all the references to her and how he keeps her trapped in the house all the time and how he pretty much controls her every move.

allie f. said...

I agree with the people who said that The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist story. She mentions a couple of times on how she feels about her husband and what he approves and disapproves of. For instance he does not like her writing in her journal and she admits that sometimes her husband scares her. It seems that the woman behind the wallpaper and the narrator seem to have much in common with their lives, they are both hidden from the outside world and are controlled by some way.

Christine said...

I agree with Nathan that the narrator never mentions how she is respected. I don’t even think she has respect for herself. She was always mentioning how she did what they told her to do, so that shows her respect to the males. Towards the beginning of the story she kept mentioning, “And what can one do?” She repeated these three different times as if she had no control of her own life. The woman behind the bars definitely shows that this story was meant to be a feminist movement.

TylerF said...

I agree completely with Nathan and Christine in the fact that she doesn't even show self respect, let alone any respect she receives from others. However, I don't think this is a feminist story, I believe it is simply just a story from a time when women weren't given much if any respect. It wasn’t until the 1960's/70's when women started to become more than just supporters of their husbands. So, I believe this story is just the women doing the only thing she knows to do, which is respect her husband and do all that he asks. For instance when she complains of being "sick", he tells her it is nothing and she just needs rest, as any women in those days would have done she listens to him and move on, no matter how much pain she was in.

Bandido said...
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Bandido said...

First of all just wanted to say that i totally agree with that dude above me. and I am not talking about Jesus I'm talking about Tylerf. But I suppose in a way that means I am really agreeing with Christine which then means I am actually agreeing with Nathan. But anyways I do think this story could be seen as a feminist story I do also believe that this story could be seen as a satire on stand up comedy. I see this as a story that deals with the rest cure fad. But the rest cure fad was a result from thinking women were inferior and more pone to going cuckoo mako maku holy roller I'm coacoa for cuckoo puffs crazy. So in a wasy this does deal with all that stuff. Especially that one part where that lady was all like, "Can I leave this room and have a beautiful walk of the terrace?" and she had the puppy dog eye thing going on and then the dude, oh man, you'll never guess what this dude did. He was all like, "No." OOOHHHHHHH SNAP!!!! That is called verbal control my friend. But did he think he had that power since women were believed to be not as great as his manly self? And that the whole idea of that un-equality was absurd and had to be told in an absurd setting? Do I have any idea where I'm going with this? Nope.