Feminism in 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

  • Created by: ellieg313
  • Created on: 11-05-16 14:38



  • 'The Yellow Wallpaper' - Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
  • Feminist ideas to illustrate Jane's struggle.
  • Shaped characters to create patriarchal relationship- feminist ideas aid in finding Jane's voice.
  • Essay will cover: feminist theory- 1st + 2nd wave + intersectional feminism.
  • Key individuals: Lois Tyson, Simone de Beauvoir + Judith Butler.
  • Analysing how feminist theory can be applied to extract.
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  • 1st wave: public activism. Women's vote + viewed as human + able to write. White, middle-class movement. 
  • 2nd wave: women's bodies- safe, legal abortions, opposed domestic violence + **** crisis. Equal pay. 'Whitewashing' + ignoring work of women of colour, working class, trans, queer women, etc.
  • Intersectional: came from thinking about gender + race discrimination. Feminism accused of being only for white, middle-class, heterosexual women. Now used to think about intersections of feminism/gender + class, race, disability, sexuality, the body, etc. 
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Key Individuals

Key Individuals:

  • Lois Tyson 'Critical Theory Today'- patriarchy treats women as objects- used without consideration for own perspectives, feelings or opinions- these don't exist unless they are same as patriarchy's.
  • Simone de Beauvoir 'The Second Sex'- men oppress women by characterising them as the 'other'- opposition to men. Man = the self/subject. Woman = object + 'other'.
  • Judith Butler 'Performative Acts and Gender Constitution'- gender, sexuality + sex = constructed. Not a fixed state of being but a process
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Text Quotes

Text Quotes:

  • "Bless her little heart"- as if she were a child. Simone de Beauvoir's 'Othering'. She = inessential. He = essential. He sees her as less than him.
  • "he sat up straight and looked at me with such a stern, reproachful look that I could not say another word" - Judith Butler's gender as constructed process. Put in place by man- gender constructed as weaker than husband + less able.
  • "Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?" - Lois Tyson- patriarchy. Husband (+ brother) use medical education to form patriarchy against her. Her perspectives, feelings + opinions do not matter/exist as do not conform to their own.
  • Intersectional Feminism: post-colonial theory- Jane's mental illness leaves her in similar position to those in colonial environment. Under rule of mentally healthy- she has diminished power, movements restricted + access to activities (writing) are controlled.
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