As the narrator makes this discovery, the reader can observe how the wallpaper is now central to the plot. “You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well under way in following, it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you across the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream”(The Yellow Wallpaper, Page 81, Paragraph 4). In the following paragraph, it is apparent that her mind now consumed by the yellow wallpaper and perplexing patterns, thus becoming essential within the plot.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to express her opinions about feminism and originality. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman's psychological disorder, her entire mental state characterized by her encounters with the wallpaper in her room. She incorporates imagery and symbolism to show how confined the narrator is because of her gender and mental illness. Gilman incorporates strong imagery throughout "The Yellow Wallpaper" to set the scene for the story and foreshadow the certain madness that is to come of the narrator. As the story progresses, so does the woman's declining mental status.
The short story titled, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is given its name for no other reason than the disturbing yellow wallpaper that the narrator comes to hate so much; it also plays as a significant symbol in the story. The wallpaper itself can represent many various ideas and circumstances, and among them, the sense of feeling trapped, the impulse of creativity gone awry, and what was supposed to be a simple distraction transfigures into an unhealthy obsession. By examining the continuous references to the yellow wallpaper itself, one can begin to notice how their frequency develops the plot throughout the course of the story. As well as giving the reader an understanding as to why the wallpaper is a more adequate and appropriate symbol to represent the lady’s confinement and the deterioration of her mental and emotional health. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the color of the wallpaper symbolizes the internal and external conflicts of the narrator that reflect the expectations and treatment of the narrator, as well as represent the sense of being controlled in addition to the feeling of being trapped.
John continues to underline her depressive illness, and more importantly she is now completely under the false illusion of the yellow wallpaper. Its patterns, structure, smell, and basic fixture fascinates her to the point of obsession and insanity. As the narrator examines the wallpaper she starts to fixate on the pattern which seems to be basic, however, she starts seeing a woman behind bars. (Gothic and the Female Voice…) In her own mind this woman is trapped and wants out like a prisoner behind bars struggling for her freedom. Although the woman behind bars is not real, she can relate to pattern.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses symbolism to explain the purpose of the wallpaper, and why it’s one of the largest symbols in the story. The narrator is part of the wallpapers symbolism and the reason why it deprives such a massive part in the story. The women trapped behind the wallpaper explains the mental block men attempted to place on women “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a symbol of the restriction on women, the struggle for equality, and the possibilities of the female sex during the 1800’s. Charlotte Perkins Gilman prepares her readers to experience many life troubles the narrator is going through by putting her story in first person. Nevertheless, most have no idea what women went through, back in the 1800’s.
The wallpaper symbolizes the dominating effect that men had on women in the late 1800’s. The symbol of the wallpaper grows throughout the story, from the moment the narrator describes the wallpaper as “The color is repellent, almost revolting: a smouldering unclean yellow” (Gilman 474). As she begins to stare and find the meaning of the wallpaper, she begins to find patterns, and particular marking, and because of this she finds a woman trapped behind bars. As she notices as the women tries to escape and the narrator “peeled off yards of the paper” (Gilman 482). The wallpaper represents how women are trapped by the dominating society of men.
She began to recover only when she returned to her art and writing, and subsequently wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" to alert others to the perils of the rest cure and its attempt to stifle creativity. It raises the question, stated by Conrad Shumaker, "What happens to the imagination when it's defined as feminine (and thus weak) and has to face a society that values the useful and the practical and rejects anything else as nonsense?" (590). The answer provided by Gilman is that it becomes uncontrollable and has the potential to destroy a person's sanity. In "The Yellow Wallpaper," the narrator suffers from postpartum depression, diagnosed by her husband John as "hysteria."
When she tears down the wallpaper she believes that she has broken out of the wallpaper within which John has imprisoned her. The wallpaper 's yellow color has many possible associations - with jaundiced sickness and with the rigid oppression of masculine sunlight (see Sunlight as oppressive, moonlight as liberating, below). By tearing it down, the narrator emerges from the wallpaper and asserts her own identity, albeit a somewhat confused, insane one. Though she must crawl around the room, as the woman in the wallpaper crawls around, this "creeping" is the first stage in a feminist uprising; though the early feminists had to hide in the shadows, they paved the way for later generations to walk with heads held
In the quote above, the narrator describes the movement of a supposed woman behind the yellow wallpaper. She claims that the pattern on the wall is moving because of a woman. I appreciate the imagery that Gilman places in this passage making it very descriptive. It permits me to actually experience what the ... ... middle of paper ... ... her condition get worse. It almost seems as if they want the narrator to be a “true woman”.
“The Yellow Wallpaper:” a Symbol for Women As the narrator presents a dangerous and startling view into the world of depression, Charlotte Perkins Gilman introduces a completely revitalized way of storytelling using the classic elements of fiction. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” combines a multitude of story elements that cannot be replicated. Her vast use of adjectives and horrifying descriptions of the wallpaper bring together a story that is both frightening and intensely well told. Using the story’s few characters and remote setting, Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents the wallpaper itself as both a representation of the narrator and the story’s theme, as well as a symbol for her descent into the abyss of insanity. As the story opens, the