The Yellow Wallpaper And The Awakening: A Literary Analysis

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A woman’s main purpose in the late 1800’s was to find a man to marry and take care of the children they have. Women did not typically have a purpose that was solely benefiting themselves, but rather benefiting the household. Their identities were merely based on the well being of the children and the man. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the authors focused on shining light on issues many women in the past and today suffer with in silence. Some may argue that both stories ended in suicide, but both exhibited how each woman became suffocated in the world that she lived in. Gilman was physically trapped within four walls that lead to her deteriorating mental health. Edna in Chopin’s The Awakening seemed to have a happy life from a bird’s eye view. Edna slowly disaffiliated herself from those around her and began to spend more time alone to realize she could be more than just a wife and a mother. Gilman and Chopin use similar literary techniques to create the identities of their main characters. Edna and Gilman’s characters are not the stereotypical mothers that would be ideal in the 1800s. Gilman mentions how well Mary looks with her baby, but the baby makes her too nervous (Gilman, 3). Similarly, Chopin writes that Edna is not a “mother-woman,” or a woman who is obsessed with her children, and devoted to her husband (Chopin, 8). It was …show more content…
Both fictional works are symbols of the inequality women faced during the 1800s and still face today. Through times the problem has shifted, but women are continuing to be thought less than men. Both works shared similar themes with Friedan’s 1960 novel The Feminine Mystique. Friedan wrote from a nonfictional side, but mentioned real life issues the fictional characters dealt with such, as the dissatisfaction they felt in their