The Yellow Wallpaper Figurative Language Analysis

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in 1892. The story is told through a series of journal entries by a woman diagnosed with a “nervous condition”. The entries take place during her “rest treatment” prescribed by her physician (who is also her husband). Gilman uses her own experiences with the rest treatment to flawlessly animate the fall to madness. She uses an array of figurative language, an alluring mood, and a first person point of view to entirely capture the reader. The Yellow Wallpaper has many examples of figurative language. Some more direct and some subtle. One of the more subtle metaphors is the bed; the bed is bolted/chained to the floor which represents her feeling tied down by her “mental condition”. “The ghost floated like a dragonfly during the sunrise”. This quote is a direct simile for the ghost but, the ghost also is a symbol of the narrators madness. From the very beginning the story exhibits an eerie and ominous mood. The narrator, a woman suffering from post-partum depression, is kept locked in a room and not allowed to see her child. People brush her off and do not take her seriously. She is doomed from the start. The narrator is off set by the house she is staying in and …show more content…

This view provides drama and suspense. Is there really a woman sneaking around outside? Or stuck in the wallpaper? Probably not which makes the narrator untrustworthy to the reader. Her opinions and statements cannot be taken as fact thus creating suspense. The reader knows how the world seems to the narrator but her views are skewed and reader cannot accurately gauge what is really happening. The narrator speaks of “the streak along the wall” and the bed posts being “chewed on”. She knows not what has caused it and thus neither does the reader. In a later reveal it is discovered that both happenings were of the narrators own

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