IJLLL 2018 Vol.4(3): 198-202 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2018.4.3.174

Madwomen Escaped from the Attic

Senem Üstün Kaya
Abstract—Concepts of mental health and normality can be understood within the values, norms and culture of a society, in which gender roles constitute the most crucial role. In many cultures, ‘madness’ has been accepted as a feminine illness because in many male dominated societies, women have been labelled as physically, emotionally and psychologically weak. Phyllis Chesler in Women and Madness defines madness as an escape from traditional roles by stating that: ‘What we consider ‘madness’, whether it appears in women or in men, is either the acting out of the devalued female role or the total or partial rejection of one’s sex role stereotype’ [1]. There has been a correlation between femininity and insanity, which paves way to the depiction of female madness in many literary works. This paper explores how male domination causes female imprisonment, which leads to feminine madness. Within this scope, two short stories, To Room Nineteen (1978) by Doris Lessing and The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, were analyzed to conclude how female madness is mainly represented as a struggle against male oppression in patriarchal societies.

Index Terms—Madness, patriarchal societies, male domination, imprisonment.

Senem Üstün Kaya is with ELT Department at Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey (e-mail: efesenem@yahoo.com).

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Cite:Senem Üstün Kaya, "Madwomen Escaped from the Attic," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 198-202, 2018.

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