What Is The Symbolism In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Perkins Gilman’s short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is the disheartening tale of a woman suffering from depression and how severely her condition is misunderstood by those around her. The setting of the story is in itself a character in the narrator’s story. The old mansion with the yellow wallpaper has many symbols used by the authors to explain the desperation of the narrator’s desperate loneliness. The ironic part of this tale is that her cure of “rest” only pushes the narrator further into her madness. The woman in this story is an ironic symbol of all women in her time, she is unheard and alone in her illness. Gilman sets this story in an colonial mansion, full of shadows and noises. Within the mansion is an upstairs room with yellow wallpaper and bars on the windows. Once a playroom for children, it has become a prison for a mother. She sits in her prison watching the gardens and the outside light; while inside the shadows and darkness fill her with fear. The faded yellow wallpaper is tattered and torn; while the wood floors are warped. At night all these factors combine into ghosts and visions. “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all moonlight,it becomes bars! The outside pattern, I mean, and the woman behind it is plain as can be”.(Gilman, 515) Her only escape was her short…show more content…
Women of the time were forced into settings they loathed, which is where the narrator finds herself day after day. Gilman uses the old room and its surroundings as a symbol for her helplessness and sorrow; the suffer feels run down, much life the old mansion. Ironically, all those around the narrator keep throwing her into the room and it only makes her worse; eventually making her want to jump out the barred windows. Much has changed in the treatment of depressed women, “Yellow Wall paper” serve as good documentation of past
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