In her famous short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman explored the challenges women of the nineteenth century had to face. This literary work is still rather up-to-date and can bring insights into the life of women living in many countries. The piece is full of symbols, which makes it so intriguing, appealing, and personal. Clearly, one of the primary symbols of the story is the “sprawling flamboyant” pattern on the yellow wallpaper that stands for the societal norms that existed at that period (Gilman 3). This paper includes an interpretation of the major symbol, as well as the entire story.
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The narrator expresses her negative attitude towards the yellow wallpaper from the first pages of her writing. She first sees the ugliness of the pattern, but the more she gazes at it, the more frightening images appear in her imagination. Likewise, a woman who has a free mind and will to self-develop could see the boundaries and limits that plagued the British society. The most tragic aspect of life in Britain during that epoch was the overwhelming acceptance of the norms that suppressed women. For the narrator, her loving husband and his sister turned out to be jailers without even knowing it. The woman trapped within the suffocating pattern of social rules lost her self and her sanity.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the short story in question has not lost its value. Females still have to live in the patterns that prevent them from growing and finding their place in the society. Women react to this situation in diverse ways as some of them start resisting while others choose to obey and become dull shadows of their selves. Many females have no other choice but to lose the link with the reality and become insane, similar to the narrator in Gilman’s story.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories. Courier Corporation, 2016.