The Yellow Wallpaper Short Story

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Katie Stephens English 1102 Dr. Strickland 9:30 TR Symbolism, Irony, and Theme in “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a husband's attempt to do away with his wife's insanity by keeping her isolated and restrained from expressing herself through writing. Gilman includes an abundance of irony and symbolism to describe the thoughts and actions of the narrator. The author uses these elements to help the reader come to the conclusion that the narrator feels oppressed and controlled along with other women who were felt to be “confined to womanly roles” in society in the 1800s. The theme of the story suggests that women during this time were imprisoned by the male dominated society. There are many uses of irony in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”. Some examples of situational irony is the fact that the narrator's husband, John,…show more content…
The narrator describes the wallpaper as such, “The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing” (351). The yellow wallpaper itself signifies women being suppressed by the men in their lives and the inability to break their dominance. She also eventually sees a figure behind the wallpaper in the form of a creeping woman. The woman actually portrays the narrator herself. After staring at the wallpaper long enough, she finds that the pattern moves because of the woman behind it trying to get out. She describes the woman as “all the time trying to climb out. But nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so” (353). This is another reference to how the lives of women are restricting. The barred windows represents the world of possibilities, but the narrator says, “I don't like to look out of the windows even – there are so many of those creeping women and they creep so fast”(353), because of how the women must “creep” around without being seen or
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