Analyzing the Role of Men in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Short Stories

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short stories like The Yellow Wallpaper and If I were a Man are about the woman. However, some short stories also highlight the supportive and loving husbands. Not only Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short stories collection The Yellow Wallpaper and other Short Stories are about women, but there is also room for men too.

I have chosen two short stories Making a change and Mr. Peebles’ Heart to look into Men’s character.

Making a Change:

Short story Making a Change is about a family who is a bit unhappy in their life. Frank Gordins and his wife (Julia) are married and have a kid. However, Julia is going through depression because of a lack of sleep due to her son crying. In the beginning, she is not ready to hand over her son to her mother-in-law but then she does it. Her husband also suggests her to hand over their son to his mother so that she would be able to get good rest.

He loves his wife but in the beginning, he is failed to realize that she left music for him that was her hobby and passion.

Frank starts finding change in Julia and she seems happy and young like she was before their marriage. Until one day Frank finds out that Julia has restarted her profession as a musician and she is going out to give a lesson. Frank finds out about his mother also has made a nursery and started working as a nanny and also takes care of her grandson. Both women are happy because they are not only doing what they like but they also started earning.

When the truth comes out, Frank gets a little bit angry but when he sees that two women that he loves are happy, he gets happy too. He supports his wife and his mother. A little change from both sides makes their life happy again.

Mr. Peebles’ Heart:

Mr.Peeble Heart is a Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story about a man who all his life worked day and night and now is tired and fed up. He is above fifty and still cares for his wife. His wife is unable to understand his condition and tries to force her opinions on him. Not only this, but she also does not care about the passion of his husband. Until Mr.Peeble’s sister-in-law notices the condition of Mr.Peeble.

They both have the same kind of interest in music and she supports him to continue it.  She is a doctor and advises him to go out for two years outside in some country. She says that it will be good for his health as something is wrong with his heart. She also suggests that it will make his relationship with his wife better.

Mr. Peeble is hesitant to take this big step as his wife will not support his idea, however, his sister-in-law suggest him do it once and tell everyone that his health is degrading and it is crucial for him to go out.

Mr. Peeble listens to her and spends some time away from his wife. During this time, his wife realizes that she misses him and she regularly read his letters.

Mr.Peeble returns home more energetic and young and his wife welcomes him warmly. She also asks him to take her with him on a trip in the future.

Mr.Peeble cares for his wife and he does not leave her or cheat on her and he comes back to her to share his good health.

Although the hero of the story seems to be Mr. Peeble’s sister-in-law Gilman has included a man in the short story that cares for women of his life and Gilman has focused on men’s well-being too.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short stories present that men are caring but sometimes they are unable to understand women like what happens in The Yellow wallpaper. However, men in the above mentioned short stories are loving and caring.

Read more about short stories

Naz khaliq

Published by
Naz khaliq

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