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armour-clad

United States

I am 16 going on 17, living in the United States and trying to survive the fact that hard classes= More Success (Maybe??). Anyways, I write when I can (rarely) and enjoy writing fiction and life reflections.

Message to Readers

Tell me where I can improve contextual evidence, analysis, and structure of my overall essay please.

Yellow Thoughts in Yellow People

August 2, 2015

    Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, “Knowing how to think empowers [people] far beyond those who know only what to think.” Tyson says that having knowledge and properly using this knowledge is more important than simply thinking within the boundaries that society establishes. Women, specifically, must use intelligence to think their way around and out of an oppressive system that has been on their shoulders since the day they were born. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman demonstrates that women must think independently despite society’s expectations because, if they do not think freely, then they will remain imprisoned by society.     

    Women are taught to be quiet and complacent and follow the will of powerful members of society. John exercises his power over Jane and “hardly lets [her] stir without special direction” (Gilman 2). John is incredibly controlling of Jane; she feels she cannot even move without specific instructions to do so. John “takes all the care” (2) from Jane and makes her dependent on him. Instead of being self-reliant and independent, Jane is emulating the perfect woman. Women, from the day they are born, are expected to be perfect, “subdued,” and “quiet” (6), much like Jennie. Jennie is “a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper,” and she “hopes for no better profession” (3). Not only is Jennie accepting of her position, she is enthusiastic about it because she has never contemplated the thought of being more than a house keeper (3). Like many women, Jennie is unaware of how being a woman has hindered her ability to strive for greatness. This idea of the perfect woman, as well as the misinterpretation of actions, keeps women secure behind the beliefs of society and prevents them from exercising their full potential.

    In order to escape the bars constructed around them, women have to think independently of everybody else. Though thinking freely is frowned upon, Jane writes despite the heavy opposition she faces from John, who “hates to have [her] write a word” (2). Jane hides her writing in order to avoid John’s disapproval. Women conceal their independent thoughts from people because they are taught that thinking is an unacceptable use of their time. As she writes and attempts to maintain her sanity, Jane notices that “a woman [is] stooping down and creeping about behind [the] pattern” (5) of the wallpaper. After Jane sees this woman behind the paper, she begins to truly question John’s authority over her. She sees that the pattern of the paper “becomes bars” (6) and that she is, along with all women, trapped behind the bars of society. Jane recognizes these bars, and she takes the initiative to “peel” (9) away the wallpaper that has imprisoned her. Even when the wallpaper is torn away, she is still “securely fastened by [her] well-hidden rope” (10). Jane, together with the women in the wallpaper, escapes from her jail and removes “most of the paper” (10) to prevent being incarcerated by society once again. Escaping the wallpaper is a great accomplishment and grants women freedom from society; nonetheless, women are still trapped by their own thoughts. Due to years of conditioning to think a certain way, women’s thoughts become shackles, which are difficult to escape from because their thoughts are more challenging to see and dismantle than the bars of society.

    In the 1800’s, when this piece was first published, women were nowhere near the level of freedom from society that women in modern times experience. Thought, like Tyson says, gives people an advantage in life and empowers them to think outside of society’s boundaries. As a human being, every woman must realize where she is and struggle against her cage for the sake of future generations. Not only must women learn how to think, but they must also learn how to escape by recognizing and maneuvering around the walls of society.

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  • August 2, 2015 - 1:15am (Now Viewing)

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