What is the theme of "The Yellow Wallpaper"?
I would say that one can find several themes in Gilman's work. One particular theme would be the validation of a woman's voice. I think that the exploration of a woman's voice becomes a central theme or message in the story. The fact that the narrator is within a predicament where she is not heard and where her voice is not validated is of vital importance to the overall meaning of the story. This is seen when the husband cannot fully understand his wife's condition, forbidding her to go outside or to keep a diary. The continued suppression of a woman's voice becomes a critical theme in the story and is part of the reason why it manifests itself in the creation of storylines within the wallpaper itself. It is this need to have a voice heard, to be able to receive acknowledgement, and to experience validation at all possible costs that becomes a major theme of Gilman's work.