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The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” focuses strongly on gender roles which are represented by various symbols within the story. The most active symbol is the yellow wallpaper inside the room in which the narrator resides. Through the symbolism of the wallpaper and other various objects which will be discussed, Charlotte Perkins Gilman illustrates the oppression women suffered from by dominating men. This can be observed early in the story when the narrator says, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that …Personally, I disagree with their ideas…But what is one to do?” (345). Women were not only oppressed by male acquaintances and the general male audience, but even their own husbands. Over time, the wallpaper shows the narrator’s self-expression through entrapment. The results of common male to female oppression correlate to the progression of the narrator’s mental state in Gilman’s story. As the perception of the wallpaper by the narrator develops, so does Gilman’s perception of oppressed women’s eventual reaction towards males and society.
The woman battles this oppression in the entirety of the story which can be seen as she becomes overly preoccupied and irritated with the faded yellow wallpaper in her bedroom. The narrator describes the home she is staying in for the summer as beautiful with marvelous surroundings. However, she states “Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.” (345). She is confined to the bedroom an unhealthy amount of time which also factors in to her corroding mental state. She not only convinces herself that the wallpaper is moving, but that a woman is trapped behind it who is attempting to find her way out. By the end of the story, a mental breakdown ensues. She te...

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...ugh he does not even exist, once and for all saying that he can no longer stop her life's voyage. Through symbols and comparisons, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her critics have showed the struggles of women for equality with their male counterparts. And, it is now evident that humans can easily become trapped in their life, and many times, they will not even notice it until it is too late. In The Yellow Wallpaper, it is very evident that the nameless main character and her husband, John, have issues recognizing, or admitting the need for this equality and opportunity. Ms. Gilman shows the opposite end of the spectrum, and what will happen if this teeming pot tips over without warning. Everyone ends up hurt in the end. Just like females are expected to subject to males, so should males be willing to compromise, or what happened in this story will figuratively happen.
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