The Yellow Wallpaper Interpretive Essay

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“An Interpretive Essay of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." “The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a gothic short story that tells the tale of female oppression. Written in the first person and taking the form of a personal diary, Gilman uses the “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its many symbols to shed light on the physical and mental oppression women faced by living in a male-dominated society, and their inability to have authority over their own lives in any facet. During the 1800’s when this story was written women were often expected to adhere to societies images of what a woman should be. In most cases, that meant being able to complete the duties of wifehood and motherhood. In many circumstances, women…show more content…
Through the narrator’s obsession with the wall, she begins to envision a woman, that is trapped behind the Yellow Wallpaper. “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still.” (pg. 166) From this line, it is made clear to the reader that the pattern of the wall symbolizes the social constraints women face daily. While the woman behind the wallpaper is just a figment of the narrator’s imagination, she metaphorically represents the speaker and her desperation to break free of the mental and physical oppression that has been placed upon her not only by her husband but also society as well; this is seen in the line “I suppose I shall have to get backs behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard”…show more content…
While it may seem as though the speaker is becoming deranged, her bold action of tearing down the wallpaper is symbolic of her finally breaking free of the stereotypical roles of a woman. The author illustrates this in the last lines of the story, “I’ve got out at last, said I, “in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper so you can’t put me back!” (pg. 167) In conclusion, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a powerful short story that explores the ideas of female oppression. The speaker of this story longed to be freed from the constraints of living in a male-dominated society, and she symbolically found her freedom in the tearing down of the wallpaper. Gilman uses the story to urge society to take a reflective look at how women are treated and to inspire her fellow women to break free of the stifling gender roles that have placed upon

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