How does "The Yellow Wallpaper" reveal how women were approached during the nineteenth century?

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The short story "Yellow Wallpaper" describes the immense amount of misogyny and condescension that women experienced during the nineteenth century. In the story, the narrator, after having her baby, is diagnosed by her controlling and condescending husband as hysterical. Being both a doctor and a man, John assumes absolute authority...

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The short story "Yellow Wallpaper" describes the immense amount of misogyny and condescension that women experienced during the nineteenth century. In the story, the narrator, after having her baby, is diagnosed by her controlling and condescending husband as hysterical. Being both a doctor and a man, John assumes absolute authority over his wife and proceeds to enact what he feels is best for her health and well-being. The narrator has been stripped of any autonomy she previously had and is, through the removal of her autonomy, reduced to the level of helplessness of her newborn child.

Rather than listening to his wife's concerns and thoughts about her own mental health and well-being, John immediately diagnoses her as "hysterical," a common diagnosis at the time for any woman who did not meet a man's expectations of his wife. Being diagnosed as hysterical meant that a woman would be instantly invalidated in any thoughts or feelings she would share. John dismisses his wife's ideas and desires throughout the entire story, and she is essentially imprisoned in the estate and left to the whims of her abusive, patronizing, and hyper-controlling husband. The reality of this story extends far beyond the nineteenth century, as women continue to endure this kind of misogyny in interpersonal relationships and in society at large.

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