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The Yellow Wallpaper: Gendered Disease or a Female Disposition

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The narrator keeps on saying “ personally” (Gilman 1), but she cannot voice these opinions and ideas at loud. It means that her “ person” or “ voice” is being submerged underneath the tendency to follow the patriarchal structure. For instance, she says: “ Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good” (Gilman 1). No one hears her personal opinions, however, because she knows that they will be dismissed, or rather, her own husband will dismiss her. As a husband, the focus is on “ self-control” with John doing the controlling over his wife.

He tells her to “ take pains to control” herself, which makes her “ very tired” (Gilman 1). The text shows that John should be blamed for his wife's neurosis, since he keeps on controlling her, instead of letting her control her life and health. Furthermore, the text shows the “ double patriarchal” structures through medicine. As a doctor, John treats his wife with condescending attention. He keeps on reminding her that he is the doctor and therefore, he knows better.

Indeed, the text shows that John is more a doctor than a husband. He threatens his wife that he will send her to “ Weir Mitchell in the fall, ” if she does not recover any faster (Gilman 4). This can render an emotional reaction from readers and turn them into addressees because they will feel indignation as patients who are talked down and if they are women, they can relate to the feeling of being oppressed by male figures in their lives. Hence, the text asks readers to project themselves on the text.

The addressees are anticipated to react negatively to how the narrator is treated as a woman and as a patient. The text interpellates people to become addressees through using setting, symbolism, irony, and changes in language to help readers understand what it is like to be married, especially to a doctor. The setting is mostly inside the woman's room. John puts his wife in a “ nursery. ”  

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