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Themes, Symbols, and Feelings in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonist symbolizes the effect of the oppression of women in society in the Nineteenth Century. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the author reveals the narrator is torn between hate and love, but emotion is difficult to determine. The effects are produced by the use of complex themes used in the story, which assisted her oppression and reflected on her self-expression.

The yellow wallpaper is a symbol of oppression in a woman who felt her duties were limited as a wife and mother. The wallpaper shows a sign of female imprisonment. Since the wallpaper is always near her, the narrator begins to analyze the reasoning behind it. Over time, she begins to realize someone is behind the wallpaper that is trapped and is struggling to come through it(Gilman). After the fact, she believes she is also trapped along with the figure behind the wallpaper. The narrator claims her husband John, whom sees his wife as a “little girl”, has trapped her inside the wallpaper also(Gilman). When the narrator tears the wallpaper down, she concludes the wallpaper was the oppression of masculine sunlight and has given her a new identity. As the woman inside of the wallpaper crawled around, the narrator must crawl around her room because the result of “feminist uprising(Feldstein).”

Gilman describes how the narrator’s creativity is being held from her husband John. Since the narrator is ill with a “nervous” disease, he takes advantage on changing her creativity and imagination by forcing her to sacrifice her writing skills. Her husband demands the narrator resume her job as being a wife and mother. Because the narrator is restricted to write, she focused her mind on the yellow wallpaper...

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