Where does it show that the narrator is an unreliable narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper"? 

The narrator's unreliability in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is shown when she starts to think that the yellow wallpaper in her room has malevolent human characteristics. The rest of the story continues to show her mental breakdown and the unreliable nature of her testimony.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would argue that the narrator's unreliability becomes obvious when she starts imagining the wallpaper to be observant and malicious. The fact that she starts to see a figure in the wallpaper's design makes it abundantly clear that she is not of sound mind and therefore not reliable.

Her constant tears and feelings of sadness and weakness add to the idea that she is suffering from some kind of mental health disorder. She is spending her time watching her wallpaper, imagining it to be a dynamic entity of some kind.

As the story progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that the narrator's perspective is not to be trusted. She refers to a "yellow smell" emanating from the wallpaper and filling the house and the image of woman attempting to climb through the wallpaper. She also has a mistaken impression that her husband, John, and his sister, Jennie, are also trying to solve the wallpaper's mystery.

The final journal entry displays a complete breakdown in the narrator's mental health,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 821 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on