The Yellow Wallpaper: The Bars On The Window

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Jamie Christopher Dorothy Byrom English 1101-27 September 19, 2012 The Bars on the Window In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, readers discover a unique symbol. The symbol discovered is the window and, more so the bars placed on it. The plot of the “Yellow Wallpaper” includes a young woman who, trapped in a house is unable to do anything but rest. As she rests she writes even though she is not supposed to and readers see her decline into what seems to be insanity. The window’s bars show the narrator trapped in her situation when bars are usually on windows to keep people out, not in. The window’s bars represent the small amount of political freedom women had in this time period. As there is only one…show more content…
Usually bars on a window are meant to protect things inside by keeping people out, but these keep the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” inside. The women were trapped but as expressed by Thomas, “On the other hand, the male sector of society enjoyed mobility. “Men reaped benefits from not only the private domain, but they were also free to leave and enter the public sphere.” This means that the woman of this time were not politically able to have any freedom. This is backed up by the text: “I always lock the door when I creep by daylight. I can’t do it at night, for John would suspect something at once.”(124) This creeping of the woman in the wallpaper and the narrator describes some of the extreme lengths that women went to get some freedom for themselves. Creeping around physically and politically, women had to sneak for a while before being acknowledged as independent and intelligent beings. As aptly expressed by Thomas when written, “Women attempted to over through the traditional definition of women’s roles. This perfectly describes what women had to do in this time to have some small amount of freedom. They had to reduce themselves to subversion and trickery. This sentiment is echoed by the text when said, “It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” (123) This describes perfectly the ‘creeping’ that
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