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.

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.

As for symbolic actions, the narrator's tearing down the wallpaper in an attempt to find the "woman" in the wallpaper represents her...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 339 words.)

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