She reflects her feelings of imprisonment by her husband, onto how she interprets the wallpaper. While she continues to find meaning in it, she becomes more and more insane. Eventually, Jane starts to feel as if the wallpaper is watching her. While she starts to decode it, she discovers a woman trapped in the bars of the pattern. The woman stuck in the wallpaper does circles and is sometimes able to crawl out through the window.
As the story develops the woman’s descent into madness can start to be seen more clearly as she reveals her obsessive and protective nature over the wallpaper. “I don’t want to leave until I have it out…I caught Jennie with her hand on it once.” This is due to the woman spending increased amounts of time on her own in the confinement of her bedroom. Whilst nearing the verges of madness, her only mental stimulation is her focus on the wallpaper. “But I find I get pretty tired when I try.” The short and blunt structure of this
Our narrator starts out being credible, and she tells us how she does not like the wallpaper at all. But as the story progresses, we can see how our narrator changes. An example of this is tells us how the pattern becomes clearer every day, “it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit.”(p.8). At this point she starts seeing various things in the wallpaper, but she still dislikes it, however later on we can see how her madness progresses and becomes a serious issue.
In The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story by Charlotte Gilman, the symbol of the yellow wallpaper itself portrays a role into the main characters spiral into madness. To the main character, Jane, the wallpaper is at first a nuisance, then an obsession, and finally salvation. Jane becomes overwhelmed from the confided space with the wallpaper and begins to spiral into a deeper depression than what she started with and eventually loses her mind. The material of the paper itself represents Jane's everyday life, the illogical pattern that comes about in it, reflects the absence of logic in her mind and the very colour of the paper depicts the illness that yellows her sight and imprisons her within an unpredictable life, these things all playing a role in Jane's insanity. The wallpaper is at first a great annoyance to Jane as she claims that it is confusing and contradicting.
The wallpaper like John is a confine in which neither woman can escape from. The many heads in the wallpaper are the activities that the narrator wants to do such as writing, seeing her Cousin Henry and Julia, and sleeping downstairs. “I don’t like to look out the window even- there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast”(434). The women creeping outside are women like the narrator who are oppressed and have to do things in secret just like the narrator secretly tried to
The central character’s analysis of a fictional woman trapped behind the bars of the horrid yellow wallpaper that encased the room she was confined to, severed her identity as she suppressed the anxieties of her experiences and ultimately led to the demise of the boundaries between herself and the imagined woman. In the beginning, the woman in the paper was merely the protagonist’s own shadow. The yellow wallpaper was a constant source of angst for her and she spent much time studying it. At first, the many different patterns in the paper are simply never-ending without any conclusions. However, as her mental illness advances and the constant isolation from everyone continues, she starts obsessing over the wallpaper and an actual form begins to take shape among the patterns.
In the novel, Zeena tells Ethan about her pain; "[Zeena] got [her] shooting pains so bad that [she went] over to Bettsbridge to spend the night…”(78). If Zeena’s sickness were only in her mind, to get attention, it would not be logical for her to leave to find help. However, the first thing Ethan thinks of when he hears of her pain is not his sympathy for her, but the financial burden the the trip to a new a doctor will cost him. Furthermore, when Ethan goes into their bedroom, the narrator states that Ethan found “[Zeena’s] mouth slightly open, her false teeth in a tumbler by the bed…” (88). While the reason is not known, it is not normal for a healthy middle-aged woman to lose her teeth, therefore it must have been her sickness.
She is unreliable because she is deranged. She “creeps smoothly on the floor,” this is one of the few points that explains how deranged Jane is. The story is set in a time when women are more submissive. John, the narrator’s husband, is a doctor who claims that Jane is ill. Jane was told to stay in her room which is unique as the “windows are barred.” The barring on the window symbolizes herself being holed up inside and in the real world against her will. The bed is also nailed down in her room.
The wallpaper’s tendency to go into knots and “pointless patterns” of lines with no ending imitates her mind; the wallpaper just like her thoughts is a loop that always moves in never-ending circles. She is constantly trying to understand the inner reality of her life since there is a broken connection between what her beliefs and actions. She physically accepts the demeaning relationship with her husband however she secretly rebels his demands because she knows it is good for her like writing in her journal. Also, she passionately desires to see and take care of her baby but she does not reject being taken away to a different location. The color of the wallpaper reflects her sickness.
After coming to full realization of who the woman who was creeping was, she states “I don’t like to look out of the windows even—there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did?” (Gilman) The connection that was already made by the reader has been made by the narrator and she was the women who was always “stooping and creeping” around. Then she knows that there are many more women who are in the exact same situation. She asks herself if they had to struggle the same way she did? Were they trapped within their homes as if they were prisons?