This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Social Criticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

downloadDownload printPrint

Social Criticism prevails throughout the narrative of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” as she discusses aspects of male chauvinism and the feminist perspective in the 19th century. Throughout the story, it is possible to see the patriarchal structure set out by men in comparison to the subordinate status of women. Gilman’s idea for- “The Yellow Wallpaper” originated from her own life she was as patient, Gilman is even quoted saying, ‘the real purpose of the story was to reach Dr. S. Weir Mitchell and convince him of the error of his ways.’

Are you Looking For A Custom Essay about “Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’” NOW? You Found It!

Professional Writers that Guarantee an On-time Delivery


experts online

In the story, women seem to have accepted their prescribed gender roles in the 19th century society. In this patriarchal society in which Gilman exposes, there are specific roles for men and women. “Jennie is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper and hopes for no better profession” reveals the satisfaction that some women have with their occupation. Jennie as perceived by the narrator, is happy as a housekeeper and believes that it is the role of a woman, and such gender roles are prescribed by 19th century society means that she has no hopes of a better profession. She does not desire to become better or delve into roles traditionally assigned to men.

Apart from gender roles, there are stereotypical behaviors associated with women, for example the narrator mentions her assertion, “It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight,” suggests that what there are some characteristic behavior of women. Such generalizations ultimately categorize the behavior of women as one, which undermines the sense of who they are, and without an identity, generalization means that the society expects women to behave in a specific manner.

The patriarchal society coerces men to act in a chauvinistic manner based on the structure of their gender roles, as demonstrated by John who portrays manly attributes of being rational and protective, he succumbs to the traditional and patriarchal expectations of a man being the ultimate decision maker. He constantly demeans his wife and brushes away her opinion because he belittles her as a “little girl.” He believes that his wife is incapable of making decisions because she is presumably irrational, as she asserts, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.” Which characterizes his level of disrespect towards her concerning making decisions. Just as the mysterious woman trapped behind the yellow paper, the narrator feels as if her home is a trap from life. The society forces her to abide to the structure of specific gender roles and feminine behavior.

Get a Personal "Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’" Tailored Essay For You in 3 Hours!

100% Customized to Your Need with Expert Writers


Evidently, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Paper” is a social criticism of the nineteenth-century society. It discusses gender roles and professions traditionally assigned to women, exposes the behavior generalized to women, and the chauvinistic behavior portrayed by men. The attitude of society towards women coerces them to bend towards expectations such as being satisfied with their roles and not yearning for improvement in their career. In a similar vein, the generalization of their behavior, for instance, through the behavior of creeping, means the society expects all women to behave in a specific manner without a sense of identity. Finally, men in the narrative do not perceive women as competent decision makers. Decision-making is perceptibly the reserve for men, who presumably have a better brain capacity. Overall, Gilman presents a feminist agenda concerning the plight of women and offers a social criticism that begs readers to analyze gender roles in the society.

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
“Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Jun. 2023].
Social Criticism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2023 Jun 10]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now