In “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1981), Gilman describes the wallpaper using different epithets, metaphors, and comparisons. Among the most interesting ones, there were phrases concerning the pattern, It “commits suicide” and “destroys itself in unheard of contradictions” (78) as if it were a living creature.
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The paper is the cause of a wide range of the character’s emotions. It confuses (78), irritates (78, 79), disturbs (82), and provokes (78). The color of the paper is “unclean”, “smouldering”, and “strangely faded” (78). The paper is “horrid” and “has a vicious influence” (79). Besides, there was some spot on the wallpaper, that looked like a broken neck and eyes (79). It is difficult to tear the paper off the wall because it “sticketh closer than a brother” – an old form of the verb “to stick” increases the comic effect. They “go up and down with delirium tremens” (81). Besides, the wallpaper is formless and strange (79). In the middle of the story, the heroine seems to find positive things in the paper, as it “dwells” in her mind (81) and she gets used to it (86). Thus, at the beginning of the story the wallpaper irritates the character, then she seems more and more interested in it, and finally, she tears it partly because of the “creeping women” (88). Thus, there are many ways to describe the wallpaper used in the story, and they form the very plot of it and create a comic effect.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. Virago Press, 1981.