In "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins, how does the narrator's attitude towards the wallpaper change as the story progresses?  

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story focused on the disintegration of the narrator's mind. The point of the story, which reflects the author's own experience, is that the so-called "cure", which involves isolating the mildly depressed and depriving them of all creative outlets, actually harms rather than helps them. 

When we first encounter the wallpaper, the narrator describes it as aesthetically unappealing, but the description suggests a level of repulsion that reflects the narrator's own, somewhat unbalanced, state of mind. The color is described as "revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow" and the pattern as consisting of "lame uncertain curves" that "suddenly commit suicide". The attribution of suicide to inanimate wallpaper, however ugly, gives us a sense that the narrator is projecting her own mental state outward rather than simply observing the actual appearance of the room.

As the narrator descends further into insanity, she perceives the wallpaper as changing and moving rather than static. She then imagines a woman trapped in the wallpaper and feels that she must tear down the wallpaper in order to free the woman.

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The Yellow Wallpaper

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