Essay On Symbolism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Symbolism plays a major role in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Several symbols are used to show the oppression of women by men as well as the struggle against that male dominated society. While there are a plethera of symbols that could be cited from the text to support this, there are a few especially important symbols throughout the story that lend support to the woman's suffrage theme. The wallpaper itself is symbolic of the mental barrier that men attempted to place on women during the 1800s. The color yellow is often associated with illness or weakness, and the writer's mysterious sickness is a symbol of man's oppression of the female sex. The two windows from which the writer loooks out of, observing the world but not participating in it, represent the possibilities of women if seen as equals by the opposite sex. The yellow wallpaper, about which the writer says, "I never saw a worse paper in my life," is a symbol of the mental restrictions that men attempted to enforce upon women (pg 423). Gilman writes, "The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, ...
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