Symbolism In Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Charlotte Gilman’s short narrative “The Yellow Wallpaper” communicates a message to women to combat male dominance. She walks readers through the experience of a woman being controlled by her husband and has them see everything through her lens, portrayed by many journal entries. It shows the progression of her mental and physical state as she undergoes his control and spends the majority of the story in the same place because of him. Through the actions of the characters and symbolism, Charlotte Gilman argues against men’s control over women and their need to resist it, which displays how women's lives can be negatively affected when abiding by their authority and doing nothing to withstand it. First of all, the husband's actions or the way …show more content…

The author builds the whole story through the writings of the woman, which is something …show more content…

It is clear to see that the yellow wallpaper itself is a major source of symbolism and strengthens the idea the author is conveying since it is a cause of the woman's progressively poor mental state. The wallpaper’s “color is hideous enough . . . but the pattern is torturing” and “there are things in that paper that no one knows but” her (Gilman 5,6). As the woman spends more time in the room, she starts dissecting the wallpaper and notices things she believes are unique to her perspective. Specifically, she notices that there is a woman behind the pattern and “in very bright spots she keeps still,” but in the “shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard” because she is supposedly trying to escape (Gilman 7). The woman at this point has gained a new view of what the pattern is showing. Gilman uses this unique perspective of the wallpaper from the wife to show how the excessive time she has spent simply staring at and analyzing the wallpaper has made her sanity deteriorate and progressed her backward. Even though she is supposed to be on the road to recovery, she is seemingly getting worse due to her husband’s control. Her lack of resistance to being trapped in the room evidently comes at a cost of her state of mind. Gilman likely put that in as a warning to how obedience to men’s dominance can impact one’s life. Still, the wallpaper is not the

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