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ERIC Number: ED370113
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper": A Surrealistic Portrayal of a Woman's Arrested Development.
Hall, Thelma R.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a revolt against what she labels as "Androcentric Culture" where men have access to the world while women have access only to the home and where "the common humanity" of women has largely been ignored. Salvadore Dali's "The Object as Revealed in Surrealist Experiment," Michel Carrouges'"Andre Breton and the Basic Concepts of Surrealism" and other art theorists reveal the extent to which Perkins employs ideas similar to those of surrealism to criticize the condition of women in American society in the late nineteenth century. Exposing students to the relationships between major areas of study, such as, art, literature, psychology and women's studies, illuminates the meaning behind the climatic moments in the story, when the narrator, having been confined to a bedroom papered with yellow wallpaper, believes that she sees a woman entrapped behind the paper's ornate design. As her madness intensifies, she identifies herself with the trapped woman until subject-object relations become confused: the two women become one. In surrealist works, according to Haim N. Finkelstein, the metamorphosis of subject and object, the "change of role," is "an act of defiance against the mediocrity of life, a gesture of liberation from the accepted notions of usage and function"--the ability to see what lies beyond external appearance is enhanced. (Contains 11 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A