Describe the narrator's room in "The Yellow Wallpaper".

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The room the narrator stays in in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is large but dilapidated. It has bars on the windows and a nailed-down bed, which gives the room a prison-like feeling. As the name of the story implies, the room has yellow wallpaper, which the narrator hates.

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The room that our narrator stays in is one that she soon severely dislikes. Her controlling husband, John, has insisted that she stay in the unattractive “nursery” upstairs, rather than allowing her to be in the downstairs room like she wanted.

The room is described as taking up almost the whole floor, which tells us that it is spacious. Our narrator notes that there are bars on the window, which leads her to assume that it has previously been used as a nursery and a playroom. These bars, together with the “rings and things” on the wall, give the room an ominous impression. The fact that the bed is nailed down adds to this somber appearance. The floor is described as tattered and dilapidated, and the nailed-down bed, bars on the windows, and rings on the walls create an impression not unlike a jail cell or mental institution.

Our narrator also describes the room as a whole as somewhat dilapidated, with the wallpaper being stripped off “in great patches” around the bed. She strongly dislikes the wallpaper, declaring that she has “never [seen] a worse paper in [her] life.” She finds the pattern irksome and the shade of yellow repulsive.

As mentioned, the room has windows, and when she looks out of the one window, she can see the garden. Looking out of another window, she can see “the bay and a little private wharf.”

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The narrator describes the room with some precision, particularly the wallpaper which gives the story its name. The room is described as large and airy, and the narrator speculates that it has previously been used as a nursery, playroom, and gymnasium since "the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls." These details suggest a prison just as much as a nursery or a gymnasium, and it quickly becomes clear that the narrator's husband has shut her up in what is essentially a large but dilapidated cell. The narrator describes her husband as well intentioned, but she is insane by the end of the story and unreliable from the very beginning.

Apart from being a prison, the room is in a state of disrepair. The wallpaper, quite apart from its bilious color, is grimy and a faded. Patches of it have been stripped off the walls, though it is not quite clear whether the narrator did this herself. She ends her description of the wallpaper by remarking:

No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.

This is a curious remark, given that she is shut up in the room for an indefinite amount of time with no end in sight. There is nothing conditional about her imprisonment. Although the narrator initially tries to make the best of the room, she finds it thoroughly unpleasant and oppressive and soon complains about it to her husband—who, as usual, fails to consider her feelings.

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The narrator of the story is attempting to recover from postpartum depression in a colonial estate in the country, where she resides in a former nursery on the top floor of the house. The narrator describes the room as big and airy, with windows that allow an ample amount of sunshine into the room. However, there are bars on the windows and "rings and things" on the walls. There is also a great heavy bed in the room, which is nailed down and appears to have "been through wars." She also describes the floor as splintered, scratched, and gouged. The narrator's description of the former nursery is eerily similar to the inside of a jail cell. Both the room and a prison cell have immovable beds, barred windows, and damaged floors.

The most peculiar aspect of the room is the fascinating yet repulsive yellow wallpaper, which the narrator describes as "One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin" (Gilman, 2). The narrator goes on to mention that the perplexing pattern is meant to confuse the eye and irritate the person studying the pattern. The narrator also mentions that if one were to "follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide—plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions" (Gilman, 2). The narrator's mental health gradually begins to decline, and she begins to see trapped women attempting to escape inside the wallpaper's disturbing pattern.

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The room in which the narrator of this excellent short story is, to all intents and purposes, trapped, is actually the former nursery of the secluded house where she is forced to repose by her husband. If we have a look at the first section of this story, the narrator herself describes this room to us:

It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was the nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls.

However, apart from this general description of the room, what is centrally important about it, and what gives the story its title, is the yellow wallpaper that twists and turns so fantastically with a pattern that is described as "One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin." It is this wallpaper that comes to symbolise the repression and imprisonment of the narrator, and finally indicates her descent into madness, as she comes to inhabit it.

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In "The Yellow Wallpaper," what is the narrator's setting?

In the very beginning of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper" the unnamed first person narrator, a woman who is about to take rest for post partum blues, first describes their remote temporary lodging as follows:

 It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer.

    A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity but that would be asking too much of fate!

This shows us that the narrator is of a well-to-do family who has even left homes for her and her husband, John. Moreover, it is a home whose isolation and style entails Gothic characteristics.

[...] It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village. It makes me think of English places that you read about, for there are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people.[...] There were greenhouses, too, but they are all broken now.

[...] there is something strange about the house -- I can feel it.

The room in which the woman is placed to "rest" also presents traits of desolation and abandonment that further denote Gothic tendencies. However, it is ironic how the room is meant to be of a glowing, yellow hue since it once had been a nursery. Yet, even these innocent qualities do not take away from its ugliness. Our narrator absolutely hates that paper.

    It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore.

    The paint and paper look as if a boys' school had used it. It is stripped off -- the paper -- in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life.

We know that her obsession commences shortly after her entrance in the room, and that the story ends with her final breakdown. This shows that the room, as she claims, has some form of "evil" in it that annoys and worries her. It is all part of her own personal needs and psychological imbalance; a need to liberate the woman within from the entrapment of that yellow and cruelly isolated room.

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In "The Yellow Wallpaper," what is the narrator's setting?

"The Yellow Wallpaper" takes place in the late 1800s in the United States.  Specifially, the narrator is in a vacation home.  Much of the narration is about one specific bedroom in the home.

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