How does Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" reflect Marxist theory?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,541 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In The Origins of Family, Private, Property, and the State, Marx and Engels argue that in earlier societies women were treated equally to men. Women had power, as well, because lines of descent were matrilinear. Under capitalist modes of production, however, which are male-controlled, women are reduced to the status of slaves. This is because women, on the whole, own no property and have little access to capital except through husbands or fathers—and inheritance is patrilinear, passing from father to son. As Marx and Engles wrote

The overthrow of mother-right was the world historical defeat of the female sex.

The only way to rectify this, according to Marx and Engles, is to reorganize society on communist principles, in which the sexes would be treated equally.

We can see how, in "The Yellow Wallpaper ," the narrator is completely dependent on her husband and at his mercy. She longs to be with her young son and to be freed from imprisonment from the room with the yellow wallpaper but she...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 566 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,598 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write811 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences



check Approved by eNotes Editorial