In The Yellow Wallpaper what is the significance of the fact that the narrator's room was originally a nursery?

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of "The Yellow Wallpaper" the reader learns that our unnamed narrator, her husband, John, and her sister in law, have traveled to a summer house.  Our narrator is suffering from post-partum depression (depression after the birth of her baby) and her doctor has prescribed a period of resting free from stress.  No one seems to recognize what has caused her stress (because of the setting) and instead of a relaxing break, she feels incarcerated and imprisoned.


She laments to the reader that she knows that something is wrong, but no one, not even her physician husband, seem to believe her.


 John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.
        John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.
        John is a physician, and perhaps--(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)--perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster.
        You see he does not believe I am sick!

Thus, it is important that the room she find herself locked in was once a nursery, because she is unable to cope with her own pregnancy.

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The Yellow Wallpaper

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