The place of women in the 18th century was viewed differently as compared to man. Society thought of men to be the strongest gender. Men had control over everything they could get a hold of, and women were not entitled to anything a man possessed. In this case, women did not have the right to be equal. Women did not have the privilege of speaking up for themselves. They had to obey man’s command. Stereotypically, women were expected to take on the traditional roles of staying at home mother, taking care of the children, cleaning the house, and were also expected to be pure before marriage.
As for some women who rebelled against tradition; women were criticized for being rebellious against tradition. In addition, women did not have the privilege of receiving a proper education. In the poem of, You Want Me White, the writer, Alfonsi Storni wrote about how one person discovered the disheartening truth about her man cheating on her while she still maintained her innocence.
Meanwhile, the short story of, The Yellow Wall-Paper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, holds some similarities to the poem in regarding to having the main character facing obstacles, yet there is a difference in the plot of the story compared to the poem. In both tales, there is young woman who is acting as the leading character and telling their experience. Except Gilan’s character is married to a physician who sadly undergoes abandonment from her husband, lack of health services, losing a child, and being thrown away from the world she once knew.
Storni used the first-person point-of-view to get the reader to picture the setting. The writer could be telling her own personal experience she had dealt with before in the past through her character. The poem begins with the narrator portraying as a young woman having conflicts arising in their romance. The way Storni phrases the word ‘you’ followed by her statements throughout the text interprets that she and her partner were having an innermost conversation. Prior to marriage to when a woman is a maiden; she is to be well protective of her virtues. Back then ladies were expected to be wholesome until they were wedded. She then brings up the topic that she still has innocence, when the lover began to have assumptions hoping that she will transform into the person she truly is not. When she quotes to her lover, ‘That not a single daisy, Calls herself my sister’, (Storni 10-11). She is defending her innocence by using the example of a daisy. Daises are known to be wild flowers. She used the symbology to represent several things. The first example being that in artwork, flowers are used to symbolize femininity. Secondly, her behaviorism is calm, and she does not do implosive acts as compared to other women. The intimate relationship the couple shared were based on unfaithfulness from the man’s behalf. She compared her partner to the Roman God named Bacchus. Bacchus was a descendant of a goddess that was known to be the god of pleasure, seduction, and wine. For instance, she stated that he has lustful relations with many women on the side. He lured the other women in when he was away from his lover. He would seek vanity from outside the relationship. He made all the other women believe the common lie that he told every single one of them that he would be there for them and possibly start a future with them. While in reality he does not keep his word and breaks the promises he has told. After he’s done his time of messing around; he leaves and never returns to the same woman. Although, she could not believe the sin he has committed, she still questions why she should meet his expectation of her being pure when he simply is not? Even though she still maybe in shock, she asks God to help her learn how to forgive him. However, his betrayal still left her feeling broken. She suggests him to seek a quest to rejuvenate himself if he wishes to continue seeing her.
The short story of The Yellow Wallpaper takes place in the late 18th century. During this point-in-time, women were limited to their options. Women were either getting into arranged marriages with a man to whom they did not love, nor be able to receive the opportunity to go to school and were left with no choice but to take on domestic duties. It was rare for a would woman to be educated. However, if they had the privilege too; they would not have been dealing with what most women had to endure. Instead they would be working in a male dominate workplace holding high leveled professional jobs. Just like Storni’s poem, the narrator’s character is also about a young woman who is romantically involved with her partner. She was joined in matrimony to a physician. The first half of the story begins with the character informing the audience that she is aware that she is not mentally there, yet she was puzzled in her husband’s responses to try and understand why her he keeps repeating to her that it is all in her head. Considering that she was determined to find answers to why she is not doing fine.
Aside from the fact that her husband was well acknowledged about her serious medical condition. In the time era in which she lived in, mental health care was not properly discovered yet. If someone was not mentally stabled it was often viewed as either a phase they would get over though time or a demonic possession that took over the women’s body. As a result of her not having access to proper immediate health care. Her condition did not show any signs of progression. The narrator’s character continues on by explaining how in her house there was one specific room in which what she described to be an ugly looking yellow colored wall that had an foul odor to it. As she continues on suffering throughout her timeline, her spouse on goes to further neglect his wif. He would leave for long periods of time without her having any clue of where he maybe or who he could have been seeing.
In conclusion, the story and the poem share similar backgrounds of two young woman experiencing hardship from not only as women living in a point of time where they did not have the same respect of a man. But, also suffer the negligence of the person whom they have shared romantic relationship with.