In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," what do the changes in the narrator's feelings about the wallpaper reveal about the changes in her condition?

1 Answer | Add Yours

grimmgirl's profile pic

grimmgirl | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

When the narrator first enters the room, she notes that the wallpaper is ugly, but she is intrigued by it. She is amused by trying to figure out the pattern. As her mental condition begins to deteriorate, however, the wallpaper becomes more frightful to her. Soon, she believes she sees bars in the wallpaper, and she becomes paranoid, questioning her husband's methods of treating her illness, and feeling as though she is being watched by figures in the wallpaper. She convinces herself that there is a woman trapped within the wallpaper who is trying to get out. At this point in the story, the narrator has clearly lost touch with reality. Locked in her strange room, the narrator feels as trapped and desperate as the woman she imagines. As she tears off the wallpaper to set the woman free, she also strips away the last remnants of her own sanity.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,993 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question