A theme in the story:

The major theme in the book is that women have to listen to men and they had trouble thinking for themselves. This theme is influenced by both the setting and the characterization in the story.

The setting, the early 1800's, influenced it because that was when depression was first coming into the spotlight. However, it was still

not well known at the time. The way this factored in was by showing how Elisa had to listen to her husband's medical advice, even when she did not think it was best. The setting also factored in by being in a time where women were oppressed by men. If it was set in a more modern time, the theme may not have been about how all women were oppressed in the 1800's, but about how old ideas persisted through time.

The characterization also played an important role. Elisa's personality is shown as being someone who thinks for herself. However, she is never able to fully stand up to her husband until the ending. She merely accepted his advice. John, her husband, also has a personality that plays into the story. He is reluctant to accept her ideas, instead always saying his own ideas are correct.

Both the setting and the characterization played very important roles in developing the theme Charlotte Perkins Gilman set for the story. These two literary devices make the story very interesting and enthralling.

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