What symbolism is represented in "The Yellow Wallpaper"?

Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" includes the wallpaper's ugliness, which represents her difficult situation, oppression, and emotional state, the barred windows, which represent the restrictions placed on women in gender roles, and the narrator's search for the "woman" in the wallpaper, which represents her attempt to maintain or recover her sanity.

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Of course, the woman trapped behind the yellow wallpaper is the narrator herself.  By pulling down this wallpaper, the narrator feels that she is tearing away the malevolent forces that restrict her [yellow is the color of evil], or "wall" her in.

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I might also add, the ugliness with which the wallpaper is described could be compared to the ugliness of her situation. She is being oppressed by the men in her life and by her inability to break the chains of their dominance in order to escape.

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As for symbolic actions, the narrator's tearing down the wallpaper in an attempt to find the "woman" in the wallpaper represents her struggle to retain or regain her sanity.  The wallpaper has been part of her confinement and by her tearing it down, she is freeing herself from that confinement.

Another symbol is the narrator's writings in her notebook and the notebook itself.  Both represent the narrator's attempt to have normalcy and sanity during this horrible ordeal of being locked in her room.  Despite being told by her husband that he wants to limit the amount of time she uses to write, she continues to write more behind his back and this is her tie to her own sanity and sense of reality (whatever her reality is at this time).  

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The yellow wallpaper itself is the most obvious symbol in this story. The wallpaper represents the protagonist's mind set during this time. It further symbolizes the way women were perceived during the 19th century. The wallpaper cannot be categorized into any particular "type". It contains patterns, angles, and curves that all contradict one another, and it can be seen the same could be said for the wife's emotions during this time.

The nursery is a symbol of the way women of this time were seen as being on the same level as children. The barred windows are symbols of the confinement of women during this time with respect to the perception of what a woman's role was.

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