The Wallpaper

702 Words3 Pages
The last part of the work narrates the relationship between the narrator and the woman trapped in the wallpaper. The narrator begins to find parallelisms in their actions. For example, she says that both women crawl during the day in secret from the rest of the people. Another indication of this connection between both women is the decision of the protagonist to help escape the woman trapped into the drawing. To achieve this, she has to strip the wallpaper off. The narrator feels she must do it herself: “I don’t want anybody to get that woman out at night but myself.” (Gilman 27) From now, the identity of the narrator and the woman on the wallpaper begins to intertwine. The first sign of this identity exchange takes place while the narrator…show more content…
First, by analyzing the pronoun “I” of the sentence ““I’ve got out at last,” said I”, the reader can confirm that the narrator and the woman trapped in the wallpaper are the same person. She has managed to leave the wallpaper “in spite of you and Jane.” The pronoun “you” corresponds to John, whom his wife points out as responsible for her confinement, that is, her lack of freedom and autonomy. John symbolizes the patriarchal society of this century, the male superiority over women in marriage. On the other hand, Jane, John’s sister, is described as a “perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper” (Gilman 17) who works under John’s orders. This character represents the ideal role of women that fulfills the expectations of the society, a reason why also represents a rejection of the narrator. Ironically, thanks to her final mental collapse, the narrator creates a new identity formed also by the woman trapped in the drawing. This has allowed her to strip the wallpaper off, which metaphorically means the escape to John’s oppression. Kennard argues that “although the narrator is not seen to emerge either from madness or marriage at the end of the novella, her understanding of her own situation and, by extension, the situation of all women can be read as a sort of triumph.” (76) This triumph is also represented at the ending through the symbology of language. For instance, the literal sense of the quote “I had to creep over him every time!”, and more specifically “over him” symbolizes the narrator’s victory over her husband and the superiority of the women over men. Also, when John sees the final scene, he “cried” and “fainted.” These actions are stereotypically attributed to women and they show weakness, which is a traditional characteristic of women. The victory of the woman brings along with it a break of the social conventions as well as the “dramatization of changes in roles and potential exchanges of power” (Monteiro 51). As a

More about The Wallpaper

Get Access