Symbolism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Until the end of time, women will find themselves asking, “What is one to do?”. This could be in the context of an abusive relationship, having children, choosing a job career, or any turning point in her life. Naturally, women are nurturers and will put others before themselves and for this reason it is a timeless question. In a short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the main character finds herself asking this question frequently. The story follows a young woman suffering from post-partum depression and is placed on “rest cure” by her husband. Gilman uses her own experiences from “rest cure” to relate and provide an inside feeling to what it felt like to be under these conditions. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that uses symbolism to illustrate an authoritative medical mindset and martial controlling husband along with a domestic setting that implies imprisonment and the pattern in which women, specifically the narrator, are trapped. Continuously, the narrator is living in fear of her husband and is not permitted to form her own opinion on her illness. Gilman uses the symbolic nature of the journal and the “typical” marriage of this time period to paint the picture of the narrator’s oppression. Her husband uses the fact that he is a respected physician against her and makes her feel like she is voiceless on her own illness. The narrator reveals in the intimacy of her journal that, “Joh does not know how much I really suffer. He
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