Feminism? You Must be Crazy

A comparative analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper", "Revolt of 'Mother'", and "The Awakening"

Essay, 2010

4 Pages, Grade: 4.0


Feminism? You must be Crazy

A common theme of feminism is evident in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, “Revolt of ‘Mother’”, and The Awakening. The stories show the plight of women who did not conform to the conventional female roles of the late nineteenth century. Comparable conquests and consequences come about in the stories as rebellious characters demonstrate assorted but related needs in a society that generally painted women simply as mothers and homemakers. Each of the female protagonists was able to break the spell cast by a patriarchal social structure, but not without some sacrifice.

The stories each reveal some rebellious tones early on. In “The Revolt of ‘Mother’”, Sarah powerfully demands that her husband explain why the men are digging in the field (Freeman 629). In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator displays a slight agitation to show a glimpse of her rebellious spirit. In the first few paragraphs of the story, she criticizes John, to herself, for his lack of empathy and his abilities as a physician (Gilman 687). Chopin uses an omniscient point-of-view in The Awakening to sincerely label Edna as “not a mother-woman” (Chopin 546). In other words, Edna is described as being bad at what society believed every woman should be inherently good at. In fact, the most significant responsibilities for women in the late 1800s were considered “wifehood and motherhood” (“Women’s History”). These two elements represent the patriarchal society that fuel the individual conflicts experienced by each protagonist in the stories.


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Feminism? You Must be Crazy
A comparative analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper", "Revolt of 'Mother'", and "The Awakening"
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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386 KB
Yellow Wallpaper, Revolt of "Mother", The Awakening, Patriarchy, feminism, women in literature
Quote paper
Daniel Z'berg (Author), 2010, Feminism? You Must be Crazy, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/210604


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