These two books determine the status and role of women during the early 20th century. I want to Interpret the stereotypes of women during the late 19th century, explore the different literary devices used in both texts, compare the similarities and differences between these two stories, and also describe the women’s obligations to society in that time period. There are many stereotypes of women in 20th early century including that women were their husbands property and could not be successful .
We see in The Awakening that Edna takes it upon herself to become independent from her husband. She begins painting to earn income, and rents out a house to completely become free from her husband. Rumors begin to circulate because this was not normal behavior at the time. Even her husband thought that she might have an illness and hired a doctor to investigate. Another person that breaks the stereotype is Mademoiselle Raise. Although she unmarried, she is still a successful independent woman and acts as a mentor to Edna.
Another Stereotype of women during that time period is that women were childish and needed decisions made for them. In the Yellow Wallpaper the narrator hated the mom she was in, and tried numerous to move into a different room but her husband wouldn’t let her. She didn’t have the power to be able to do what she wanted. When the narrator is trying to argue her point about wanting to switch rooms, John says “You know this place is doing you good,” she responds by saying ” Then do let us go down stairs, there are such pretty rooms. John says that wallpaper is getting the better of her and she is forced to stay in her room(Page 44). This enforces the stereotype at the time that women couldn’t make decisions without their husbands approval. One literary device that occurs frequently in both stories is conflict. In The Awakening the conflict is between Edna and societal pressures that are put on her. She is a mother and a wife and she is expected to take care of both. Instead she strays from convention becomes independent and has multiple affairs.
But eventually concedes to the realization that if she wants her children to have a normal life and name, she can’t abandon her husband as it would hurt the children’s names. So she takes her life and makes it look like an accident. In the Yellow Wallpaper the inflict is between Narrator and her impending psychosis. She too ultimately succumbs to the conflict in story. In the Yellow Wallpaper, irony is what makes this story. In the final scene, right before her husband enters into her room.
The narrator has finished tearing off all the wallpaper in her room and now the woman, she saw trapped in, is now free. The narrator and the woman behind the pattern was herself I t. Believe that this is the irony, that women in this time period were trapped in their homes like prisons. That is why the author described the wallpaper as bars that go horizontally, emphasizing prison cell. Both stories share many similarities. The biggest of which concerns the rights of women. In these two stories, the main characters are almost trapped into their situations with no way of escaping.
Edna tries to fight the fact that she doesn’t want to be owned by another man but her affair Robert, admits that he has the same conventional idea of what a woman’s role was. Her fantasy is now destroyed. She’s realizes that she can never have the same rights as a man . In the Yellow Wallpaper, the author hints at that all women during that time have been living in prisons. The suggest difference between these two stories would have that at the end of the story Edna is awakened to the fact of roles of women, the author clearly states it.
But the ending to the Yellow Wallpaper can be interpreted differently and author leaves it to the reader to figure out what the context meaner. In both of these stories how women are viewed by society is the basis of how and why these books were written. When Doctor Mandate says “The years that are gone seem like dreams if one might go on sleeping and dreaming but to wake up and find Oh! Well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain dupe to illusions all one’s life. Page 92)” This says that the understanding that comes with suffering. It is better than being a slave that defined what she used to be. I think, to Edna, self awareness meaner that she is not controlled by anyone but herself, and that is a lot better than the expectations of society. The roles of women in this time period are unequivocally different than today. They had to suffer through not having the same rights as men and not being considered equal. These two stories look into what women during that time period had to go through and how they cooped with it.