Presentation on theme: "Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper Medicalization, Madness, Marriage and Maternity in the 19th Century"— Presentation transcript:
Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper Medicalization, Madness, Marriage and Maternity in the 19th Century
Today biographical notes post-partum depression/S. Weir Mitchells rest cure feminist theorist/attitudes towards sexuality discussion of story
Gilman circa. 1900
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, economist, theorist, author of over 200 short stories and ten novels refused to call herself a feminist: her goal as a humanist was to campaign for womens rights utopian socialism
Breakdown after birth of child; divorced and left child with father second marriage happy an advocate of the right to die; died by her own hand when diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer. She wrote, "when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one."
This article originally appeared in the October 1913 issue of The Forerunner. briefly describes her own experience work [is] the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper" (1913)
Period of change: from the True Woman to the New Woman Gilman felt that the maternal role over-emphasized, and that women needed economic independence Womens role
Contrasting sex parasitism, in which the female is dependent upon the economic activities of the male, with what she identifies as male parasitism in lower life forms, the American feminist [Gilman] emphasizes how the sexual parasitism of women directly contradicts any known biological model. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar (literary critics), No Mans Land (Vol. 2, 71), quoting Gilman from her essay Parasitism and Civilised Vice (1931)
The Yellow Wallpaper The New England Magazine 11.5 (1892)
Scene from The Yellow Wallpaper directed by Emma Akwafo at Reading University, 2008
Juliet Landau as Charlotte Weiland in The Yellow Wallpaper (2009)
Leone and MacDonald, Drawing from The Yellow Wallpaper Artwork
Keat Teoh, The Yellow Wallpaper
1.How do the descriptions of the former nursery contribute to our understanding of the story? How about the setting more generally? 2.How would you describe the point of view and the narrative voice? How do they shape the story? 3.What do we learn about John? How do we learn it? What is the significance of his being a physician? For discussion
4.What do we learn about their relationship? How do we learn it? 5.Anything interesting about the use of names in the story? 6.What does the wallpaper represent? 7.Is she mad? Or has she found a way to be sane?