The Yellow Wallpaper Questions and Answers
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper book cover
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What aspects of the story do you think prompted each of these interpretations? State which interpretaton you favor, and explain your reasons.  Also, which of the narrators traits would be considered normal in a woman today 

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Concerning "The Yellow Wallpaper," you've made your question impossible to answer, since you don't give any information about "these interpretations."  How do we comment on them if we don't know what they are?  I'll explain the story a bit, and then maybe you can judge the interpretations.

The speaker is suffering from what we today would call post-partum depression.  She is "treated" according to a contemporary theory that calls for complete rest and nearly-complete isolation.  She is not even allowed to see her newborn baby. 

She is an intelligent, creative woman, and left alone in abslolute boredom, she becomes obsessed with the patterned wallpaper.  She begins to see a woman in a cell in the pattern.  She, of course, is transferring her own situation into the wallpaper. 

Ultimately, she identifies so completely with the imprisoned woman she sees in the wallpaper that she tears down the wallpaper in order to set the woman free.  When she can't quite tear it all down, she becomes the woman herself.     

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