Symbols in “The Yellow Wallpaper”


Symbols in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story about a woman who just gave a birth to a child and by her husband who is a doctor; she has to take a bed rest in a house that the woman feels not comfortable in it. She has to take a rest and doesn’t allow doing any activities by her husband. She placed in a room with very bad condition of wallpaper. With her imagination she sees the yellow wallpaper live and change it shape. She tells her husband that she doesn’t want to be in the house but her husband insists her to be there until she recovery from her illness. There are many symbols that we can find on the story.

The First symbol is the yellow wallpaper itself. It symbolized the main character, Anne mental status as she saw the yellow wallpaper with her imagination that it can live and change shape. And the color yellow itself indicates the sickness and weakness.

Another symbol that we can find on the story is the house. House often represents a secure place for someone but in this story the house is symbol of the confinement of the main character. It is the strange situation that has to be faced by the main character because the house is not hers and she doesn’t want to be there.

The other symbols that we can find in the story are the garden which symbolizes the earth and the society, the two windows that symbolized as the women seen as equal to woman, the mysterious illness which symbolized the man’s domination of woman.

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