What is the symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper"?

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The most significant symbol in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is contained within the title itself. As the story progresses, the wallpaper becomes a symbol of the narrator's mental illness. She strongly dislikes the wallpaper upon moving to the house. Initially, it is just the abrasive color she objects to: “It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.” Her husband believes she is overreacting and, as such, decides not to replace the wallpaper:

At first he meant to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies.

Evidently, her husband believes that if he gives way "to such fancies," it will be worse for her psychological state. However, as the narrator's mental health declines, she starts to vaguely see a "formless sort of figure" in the paper and becomes fixated on the wall:

it dwells in my mind so! . . . I lie here on this great immovable...

(The entire section contains 607 words.)

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