Explain what the 'crawling' does that she sees and does.

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Soon after she realizes she is "trapped" in the room, she notices the wall paper has a "subpattern ...particularly irritating...and when the sun is just so--[she] can see a strange provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design."  Projecting her own expereince of entrappment on the wall paper, the narrator's mental health deteriorates.  The figure appears to her to be a woman, then seems to be shaking the wall paper, then appears to crawl as if to escape, the figure also appears to be a woman shaking the paper. During the night the narrator gets up to pull down sheets of the wall paper, and by the end of the story we learn that she, not a figure behind the pattern on the wall paper, is crawling.  "I've got out at last," she says, "and I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back."  In this way, she tries to free herself from her entrapment in the bedroom, and symbolically free herself from her husband's and society's domination.

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The Yellow Wallpaper

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