What Is The Symbolism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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“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
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Frightening details begin to unfold about the room, including: barred windows, a bolted down bed, and of course, the wallpaper itself (227). Gilman uses the imagery to create an air of suspense and insinuates the narrator’s coming fall into insanity. The setting of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” in large, leads to the narrator’s collapse. Almost instantly, the narrator’s already unstable mind perceives a ghostliness that begins to set her even more on edge. Her tense mind is then further pushed towards insanity by her husband,…show more content…
Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day” (231). Again, the narrator is using the wallpaper to convey her emotions. Just as the shapes in the wallpaper become clearer to the narrator, in her mind, she is having the epiphany that John is in control of her. The narrator then truly drops into the realm of insanity. She starts to be untrusting of John, stating, “He asked me all sorts of questions too, pretending to be very loving and kind. As if I couldn’t see trough him” (235). Her distrust reveals that her mind has discovered truly how oppressed she is. She then viciously begins ripping the wallpaper from the wall (236). This ‘insane’ act serves only to show how lost the narrator’s mind is. The narrator also reveals that she has a rope that she will use “if that woman does get out, and tries to get away, I can tie her” (236). The woman is a symbol for the narrator’s pre-nervous-disorder personality. She essentially uses the statement to say that if the woman she once was escapes, she will hang
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