I am confused by the ending of The Yellow Wallpaper. Why did John faint and why is the narrator having to creep over him all the time?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

By the time the narrator's husband, John, returns to the house where his wife is being "treated" with the rest cure for her "hysteria"—a sort of catch-all term to describe anxiety or depressive disorders in women at the time—she is no longer herself. She's essentially had a complete mental breakdown where she now believes that she is the woman that she believes she has freed from the wallpaper. Unable to free herself and held practically a prisoner by her husband (who had good intentions but terrible methods), perhaps it is easier to believe that she is a free woman, even if it isn't the objective reality. She says to John,

"I've got out at last [...] in spite of you and Jane[.] And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!"

We've never heard a reference to a "Jane" before—we've met John, the narrator's husband, and Jennie, her sister or sister-in-law—and so it makes sense to assume that Jane is actually the narrator's name....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 532 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on