Symbolism In The Yellow Wall-Paper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Decent Essays

Traditionally, women were described in a sense that is dominated by men in literary works. However, Charlotte Perkins Gilman connected the social phenomenon in that time with her personal experience to create a feministic fictional narrative “The Yellow Wall-paper” which is about an unnamed woman who has postpartum depression and is sent to a house by her husband in order to cue her mental illness, and finally gets mad because of her self-centred and dominating husband. The narrator, a nameless women in order to symbolize any wife, mother, or woman, is oppressed and clearly represents the significant influence from the oppression of women. Gilman uses symbolism to portray the narrator’s self-expression and the oppression she suffers in the …show more content…

For those women in the nineteenth century, this is the part where makes women aware of their own choice and control over their leisure time to life and liberty rights. However, in “The Yellow Wall-paper”, the narrator loses all rights of decision and required to live in an unfamiliar environment where she is treated for her sickness with nothing to do except resting. Although this house is described as “a colonial mansion, a hereditary estate”(Gilman 647), she thinks this is a “haunted house”(647) and “proudly [declares] that there is something queer about it”(647). She is not comfortable to live there and entreat John to leave on many occasions. Because of John’s excessive control over the narrator, she has no option and stays in this house where aggravates her illness day after …show more content…

The characteristics of the yellow wallpaper symbolize the narrator’s inability to escape from the oppression and survive on her own in the society. During her “solitary confinement” in her room, she begins to visualize her suffering in the faded wallpaper. In the beginning, she cannot control the images appear on her mind. These images are a reflection of her own feelings, but she does not know how to figure out of them. She not only sees herself behind the paper, trapped, trying to escape, but another woman as well. Gilman’s attempts at creating another woman in Jane’s subconscious help create the central theme of oppression on women. These women are experiencing the same cruelty as Jane; it is the reason why the reader does not see this through words, only through the images in Jane’s subconscious. “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over.”(654) The image of the women crawling represents women in that society in

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