Analysis Of The Poem ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

1279 Words Nov 5th, 2015 null Page
The Woman in the Wallpaper “The Yellow Wallpaper” is set at a time when women could not easily flourish. Treated as less then men, many suffered at the hands of medicine as the narrator does. Her husband, her brother and even her husband’s sister who “thinks it is the writing which made [her] sick”(481) have more control over her recovery than she does. When she speaks on her own behalf, “John laughs at [her]”(478). Her suffering is added to by the popular Rest Cure, which limits her writing, socializing and other forms of expression. The central symbol of the wallpaper is produced when she turns to less explicit means of communicating; she imagines the wallpaper as a grandiose unfolding symbol for her true thoughts and feelings. Figures in the wallpaper reflect the woman’s character and conflicts in detail while also illustrating the social constraints on women at the time, encouraged by her husband. The descriptions shift in tandem with her condition and demonstrate the consequence of these social constraints. As an overarching symbol for the narrator and the trials of being a mentally ill woman, the wallpaper is developed and eventually pulled down to symbolize the woman’s own downfall at the hands misogyny.
The wallpaper is a sort of mirror, reflecting the narrator in more detail than what she shows her husband or even admits to herself. She believes she is “sick” with more than just a “temporary nervous depression”(487) but in the face of her husband and the sexist…

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