Yellow Wallpaper Symbolism

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In the short story of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gillman writes an intriguing story that brings to light how women were identified through domestic roles in the Victorian era. She shows through a haunting experience and progression of the “resting-cure.” Through dark symbolism, descriptive and repetitive diction, and setting of events taken place, readers are able to understand how those roles denied women their freedom and independence. Throughout the story, Gillman shows multiple examples of symbolism that connects to the domestic roles that women were to obtain domiciliary in the 19th century. A major symbol would have been then the yellow wallpaper. The narrator describes the wallpaper as “sprawling flamboyant patterns …show more content…
The story takes place during the Victorian era which was the time in history that gives account to women driven to madness due to what is known as the “rest-cure” where women are prescribed with no activity what so ever. This was the apparent cure for hysteria and nervous conditions and females were experiencing. Victorian culture defines the male figure in the relationship as control and “sanity” which in this story’s case is the opposite towards the narrator's needs. He actually compliments her madness rather than curing it. By doing so, he takes the narrator out from society and brings her to an isolated house of binds and restrictions. This was another way the Gillman was visually showing the feeling women felt when it came to restrictions on freedom. The room that incases the narrator was described as a “big airy” room with bars on the windows. She was trapped not only physically, but mentally from the world as well. Due to the “persuaded” understanding of how women were considered as the weaker sex, they were seen as the perfect fit for the “domestic role of the family.” During the Victorian era, men were able to pursue what they dished, yet women, on the other hand, were restricted to confined rules. Through the haunting and yet eye-opening story, we can understand the connection of restrictions and domestic life women went through during this time in the age. The dark symbolism of the women behind the wallpaper, repetition of important diction, and the setting of the story and time in history it took place give readers the ability to hear Gillman’s cry for the apprehension of the roles of women and just how their madness cannot be cured through restrictions of

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