The Yellow Wallpaper

By , chicago ridge, IL
Women back in the day weren’t really thought of as being intelligent. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator and her husband named John has rented a house to get away from all the problems that she’s having. But she can’t express herself because back at this time period women were only meant to be house wife’s and mothers. In this story the narrator expresses her symbolism, dialogue, and setting at the house where she was staying at during the summer.

Symbolism is expressed by the narrator by threw the wallpaper. The wallpaper was yellow and had a pattern that didn’t match each other paper. At night she felt trapped because the lines looked as if they were bars so she would always feel that she couldn’t express herself. “The front pattern does move—and no wonder! The woman behind it shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only me, and she crawls around fast and her crawling shakes it all over.”(Gilman) she believes that she sees a lady behind the wallpaper and that the lady is trapped and wants to be free. The lady represents the narrator because she’s the one behind the wall and society won’t let her out. She feels trapped because she can’t express her own feelings or thoughts to everyone because they might think she’s crazy. The wallpaper is represented by bars of a jail cell or cage. “The paper changed as the light change” meaning she would be trapped at daylight because that’s when she had to be a house wife, but at night there was no light to see the wallpaper so she was free.
The author uses dialogue to show how hard it was for the narrator to go through society’s views on women. “’I lie here on this great immovable bed—it is nailed down’” (Gilman). The room John kept the narrator in was to show that he wanted to hold her back. The narrator explains how the bed was nailed down and was locked into place. What she was trying to express was that she can’t break out of the pattern and its holding her down. Society looks at women in a downward view at this time. And if they don’t respond to what the society looks at them to be, they are viewed as “crazy“. Through the whole story the narrator doesn’t give us her name she just says “I“. “’I don’t feel able. And I know John would think it absurd. But I must say what I feel and think in some way it is such a relief’” (Gilman). The narrator uses “I“where she can express herself, which is at night when she can become herself and not just a house wife. She explains how that she could only find herself when she writes in her journal. If John would have read her journal I believe he would be very upset because of the fact that nothing is really changing and he would probably figure that she would need more help. It seems that it’s the only way she can be herself and that’s why she’s expressing herself through a journal, other than speaking to John.
In this story there are many different settings that describe the narrator. “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls” (Gilman). The narrator was forced to live up stairs in a room that had bars on the windows and that had little furniture. This room that she was trapped in was made for little kids or was a child’s room before. She feels confined in the room that she stays in. she also feels as If she can’t break out and is locked down. John put her in this room because the room used to be made for kids and that’s what he thinks of her and where she needs to be. At the end of the story in the room, the narrator says “I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did” (Gilman) By the end of the story the narrator breaks out the wallpaper by ripping it off the wall. She is basically saying that she has escaped the bars and that she doenst care what society has to say because she is strong and is willing to overcome being just a house wife. John’s response to this action is fainting. He shows that as he walks into the room and see what the narrator has done.
Women were looked at as objects and treated like nothing but objects back in the days. The narrator of this story shows us that it was hard being a women and how they couldn’t express themselves in their own house hold without being called crazy. She explains how she was the lady trapped behind the wallpaper and how the bars of the pattern represent society which is holding her back.





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