The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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Literary Analysis Essay: The Yellow Wallpaper The short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, can have many interpretations. Some think that the house in the story is not actually a house but is a mental hospital. Some think that the narrator is actually the woman in the wallpaper and some think that she commits suicide in the end. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to interpreting this story. Not only does this story have many obvious interpretations, but it also has symbolic interpretations. The so called “prison” that the narrator is in symbolizes the mental prison she is trapped in as well as many other factors in the short story symbolize the repression of women’s rights during that time period. The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Gilman, was published in 1892. At this time, women had little to no rights solely because of their gender. Women were thought of as the weaker sex. They were associated as the sex that was unable to do any form of work requiring any muscular or intellectual activity. Women were discouraged from writing and reading. They were expected to marry, have children, and do nothing other than what wives and mothers did back then. This meant, cleaning, cooking, caring for the children and husband, etc. Similar to these expectations, the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper is forbidden from reading and writing. Her husband/ doctor, John, does not allow it because he thinks that putting her on the “rest cure” will help her come out of her depression or mental illness. Little does he know that not allowing her to write or read, forcing her to sneak and do it, is causing her to become more and more insane and obsessed with the yellow wallpaper. This is a prime example of a man repressing a woman’s rights. He took away her right to read and write. Although this could have been thought of as a cure for the illness the narrator has, it

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