From the very beginning the narrator makes it clear that it is difficult for her to come to terms with her condition. At one point, she recalls what john advises her not to do, “John says the very worst thing to do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad” (470). Here we see that she is not given the freedom she needs to cope from what would suppress her anxieties. Rather, she is ordered to lay around all day and do nothing but rest, ultimately what drives depressed people insane. She on the other hands states, “Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good” (470). This is in fact what she needs to help her cope with her anxiety. Instead, she keeps a personal jou...
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...ys, “I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder. ‘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!’” (482). She has freed herself at last and as a result has gone mad. Could she be Jane?
All throughout the story, Gillman uses the wallpaper as a symbol to indicate the narrator’s disconnection from reality. First, she shows us how the narrator refuses to face her condition by directing her full attention to the wallpaper. Then, progressively, Gillman illustrates how the narrator and “the woman” are in many ways similar because, they both share the same situation, the lack of freedom. In the end, Gillman reveals that the “woman” was, undeniably, the narrator trapped within her own head. Thus, the wallpaper symbolizes the opression that kept the narrator from liberation.
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