Comparison Between Charlotte Perkins “the Yellow Wallpaper” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”
For some, culture provides inspiration; for others, though, it causes suffocation. Those of us who don’t get what we need from our environment fail to thrive. For some, like the main characters in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper” and Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, culture becomes a trap.
They are disrespected and looked down upon for not fulfilling certain duties while men overlook what the purpose for it was in the first place. Gilman also conveys the negative treatment and impact it these roles have. Even a woman’s mental health was not seen as important enough to pay attention to. There is a beautiful shaded lane that runs down there from the arbors, but John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try. (529) The main character’s mental issues are diminished simply because she is a woman. Men see them as highly emotional and irrational and dismiss their feelings based on that.
Giele concludes by asserting that the “Yellow Wallpaper” is one of many short stories by Gilman, where she presents characters trying to escape from conditions set by society (35).
Hocham, Barbara. The Reading Habit and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” London: Duke University Press, 2002.
Holstein, Suzy. Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell’s Trifles. The Midwest Quarterly 44 (2003): 282-290.
Perkins, Charlotte. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York: Dover Publications, 1982.
Mael, Phyllis. Trifles: The Path to Sisterhood. Literature/Film Quarterly17 (1989): 281-84.