The Yellow Wallpaper

In the story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

How do you explain the figure beginning to appear in the wallpaper?

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The pattern of the wallpaper also emerges most clearly by the light of the moon. The narrator is able to identify the figure as a woman behind bars, an image that symbolizes the oppression of female domestication. Because wallpaper is stereotypically a floral, feminine fixture in rooms, the figure’s imprisonment behind the wallpaper highlights the expectations for women of the late 19th-century. Unlike men, women of the time were expected only to tend to the housework and the family - and rarely to leave freely for work as John does. The fact that the oppressive wallpaper is on the walls of the nursery is yet another symbol of the maternal duties that the female figure is expected to assume.


explain the narrator's position at the beginning of the story of the yellow wallpaper