The Yellow Wallpaper Symbolism Analysis

931 Words4 Pages
Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper
Symbolism in a story is when a person or an object in the story symbolizes something else that is not directly stated. There are many types of symbolism in Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper. The wallpaper itself, Jennie the housekeeper, the husband, the nursery, and the woman in the wallpaper are all symbols for something more. All of these things symbolize an aspect of the lives of women in the 19th centuries. Gilman wanted her story and the characters in it to relate to a deeper issue than Jane’s “illness”. The symbolism helps develop the theme of freedom and confinement. The reason Jane is acting insane is because being locked away in the nursery without being able to write or express her thoughts is driving her mad. Every person, woman or man needs freedom and should not be confined or stripped of the ability to express their thoughts and ideas.
The biggest symbol in the story is the yellow wallpaper in the nursery that Jane is locked in. The dreary and lifeless patter that Jane explains in the story represents the lives of women in her time. “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide-plunge off at
…show more content…
Her husband locked Jane away in the nursery and forbid her from the rest of the house. Jane also does not believe she fits in well at the mansion just as she does not fit into the role of a wife. Her husband also hides her away from everyone else in the nursery as if he is embarrassed of her. Towards the end of the story Jane even begins to suspect that the room was actually an asylum for adults. The windows of the room are barred up and windows represent freedom in many ways. Jane’s freedom has been taken away and she is confined in the
Open Document