ENG 210-08 Paper 2 - Whiting 1 Tori Whiting Geoffrey A...

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Whiting 1 Tori Whiting Geoffrey A. Johns ENG 210-08 15 November 2011 Suppression through the Ages The role of a woman in society is a subject that has seen an enormous amount of debate and reform in the last two hundred years. In her piece “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman addresses the problem with a woman’s role in society and suggests feminist arguments of a need for reform prior to the actual feminist movement. The narrator of her piece is trapped in a room in the attic of an old Victorian home by her husband who is a physician. He believes that her “illness” of being unsatisfied with her role in society is curable by isolation from the world. During her time in this room, the narrator dwells on the yellowing wallpaper that surrounds her. The narrator’s captivity by man, her husband, results in her having an obsession with the wallpaper. The entrapment of the narrator in this room and the color and mystery of the wallpaper, which the narrator dwells upon, symbolize the struggle, suppression, and captivity of women by men during this time. The yellow wallpaper is first introduced by the narrator when she is describing the room. She ponders what the room was before she moved into it and thinks that it was perhaps a playroom for children due to the barred windows and rings that cover the walls. However, when describing the paper itself she has a sizeable distaste for its color; “it is stripped off – the paper – in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of these sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate ad provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it!”
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2011 for the course ENG 210 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.

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ENG 210-08 Paper 2 - Whiting 1 Tori Whiting Geoffrey A...

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