The Struggle for Power in "The Yellow Wallpaper, " "Daddy, " and "Editha"

2130 words 9 pages
American Literature
9 March 2013

The Struggle for Power in "The Yellow Wallpaper," "Daddy," and "Editha" Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s piece, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (written in 1890, published in 1892), is a semi-autobiographical piece that, although believed to be a result of her severe postpartum depression, illustrates the difficulties faced by women during the Women’s Movement. These difficulties are further illustrated by the similarly semi-autobiographical poem, based on Plath’s father and husband, “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath (written in 1962, published in 1965). These gender roles are then reversed in “Editha,” (written in 1898, published in 1905) which has been said to be William Dean Howells’s response to the Spanish-American War.
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And I've pushed off most of the paper so you can't put me back” meaning she can no longer be told what she must do and she is now in control, creeping over the fainted John. Similarly, Sylvia Plath illustrates the path she took to break free, from the memory of her father, in her poem “Daddy.” Plat compares the confinement her father’s memory has created to a shoe, that for thirty years, she was trapped in, too scared to “dare to breathe or Achoo.” Throughout the poem, Plath uses similes and metaphors to give a dramatic view on the relationship between herself and her father. Plath aligns gypsies and Jewish people with the female figure, and she aligns German Nazis with both male figures, she employs these comparisons to draw women as victims and men as persecutors. Plath continues this description of confinement by saying she is a Jew in “Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.” She continually describes her father as black, and even tells her father: You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
She resents her father for abandoning her, yet she still feels bound to his memory, so much so that