What is the significance of the wall paper in "The Yellow Wallpaper"? What does the narrator's reaction and description of it reveal?

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In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper ," the narrator is at first disgusted by and then later obsessed with the torn, smelly, yellow wallpaper. As the story progresses, she becomes determined to tear it off the wall and release the woman she sees behind the wallpaper, shaking the bars to get out. She notes the "lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide" and the "the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down." Many of her references to the wallpaper show violence and frustration. The wallpaper symbolizes several things. It is significant because it shows the narrator's frustration at being trapped. The woman trapped behind the wallpaper represents the trapped woman recovering from her depression in the room. Another thing the wallpaper symbolizes is paper used to write. The narrator is forbidden to write in her journal by her husband, so by tearing the paper off the wall, she is attempting to have...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 566 words.)

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