Fighting for Feminism With a Fetus: “Hills Like White Elephants”
The empowerment and the continual push for equal status for women has become widely popular and successful in recent history. Women have stepped out of traditional roles of the housewife and mother to become the submissive doormat to more assertive natures. Many controversial issues surround women`s crusade of freedoms including the widely debated right to choose what they do with their body, referring to an abortion in “Hills Like White Elephants” and depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
Gender roles had an impact on the woman in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants”. The personal evolution of the female protagonist can be divided into four major steps, the first revolves around the typical submissive ...view middle of the document...
Its not really an operation at all”(476). She attempts to downplay the procedure and with the continual pushing she agrees to do the procedure stating, “I don’t care about me. And ill do it and then everything will be fine”(477). The third stage takes strongly into account the setting of the story. She mentions earlier that the hills look like white elephants, an animal that is considered rare, precious and sacred symbolizing an unborn child.
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” focuses on the narrator’s nervous condition as she slowly loses sense of reality, the whole time being totally misunderstood and misdiagnosed by her husband, a doctor who is unable to understand a woman’s psyche and who believes the best treatment is for her to confine herself to her room and rest. At first Jane doesn’t want the treatment but then states, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression a slight hysterical tendency what is one to do?”(102). As each day that Jane is locked in the nursery the more she starts to lose sense of reality and sanity. She starts to see things in the wallpaper things she describes as “absurd unblinking eyes” (106). The worse Jane gets the more she can`t fulfill her gender role as a mother and a wife. Janes sickness started to empower her.
Empowerment and the continual push for equal status for women was widely popular and successful in these two short stories. The short story “Hills Like White Elephants” demonstrated how women have stepped out of traditional roles of the housewife and mother type instead they let men empower and control them. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” it also demonstrated how women aren’t the typical housewife`s they used to be back in the day.