Short Story Analysis: The Yellow Wallpaper
In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins, the element of literary elements, such as imagery, symbolism, and figure of speech are used to illustrate the repressing role of women and their lack of freedom of expression. Throughout the story, the reader develops an image of woman that has no freedom of the expression with the key elements used to establish the key theme of the poem. Jane, who is the woman in the short narratives, ends up being mad because she is repressed and has no freedom of speech.
The repressing role of a woman and her lack of freedom of expression in the short narrative is symbolized with the wallpaper. Jane starts hallucinating in the short narrative because she is isolated from any type of sensory stimulus and the society as whole. Symbolism in the poem illustrating the theme of repression and lack of freedom of speech is portrayed with the vision she experiences while in her bedroom (Magazine 134). Jane starts hallucinating creepy women trapped behind the wallpaper that is sticked on her bedroom. The wallpaper itself used in the narrative symbolize repression, because of the role the woman in the play feels that she is acting in the society is confined to being a mother and wife. Noteworthy, the wallpaper is a symbol of confinement of women in the society as the narration of the short story portrays it.
Figure of speech
The author in the narrative has used the figure of speech, such as metaphor to help convey the dominant theme in the poem, which is repression and lack of expression of women in the society during his time. The rest treatment prescribed to Jane has been used metaphorically in the poem. Her brother and husband advices Jane to rest against her will, which eventually drives Jane nuts when she starts seeing women creeping from the wallpaper as toddlers . The wallpaper is also a prison as conveyed in the poem with the rest cure prescribed to Jane (Magazine 134). Gradually, Jane starts to be rebellious because the wallpaper has compelled her to sanity, thus losing her mind. Afterwards, Jane is able to set free the women trapped in the wallpaper, which is also used metaphorically to suggest Jane attaining her freedom. As observed, rest treatment in the short narrative has been used to help convey the dominant theme of repression and lack of expression in women.
In addition to that, imagery has been used in the short narrative to help the reader develop an abstract environment of the narration of Jane as an oppressed woman. As the reader goes through the narration in The Yellow Wallpaper, a concrete and vivid detail of the environment Jane is oppressed in comes into life. Most essentially, it becomes apparent as Jane mental state deteriorates gradually (Magazine 134). The narrator of the poem brings out imagery from the wallpaper through her the narration of Jane that inclines her into irrationality. Moreover, as the mental state of Jane becomes worse, the imagery created with the wallpaper become more apparent and clear. As Jane contemplate on the wallpaper, its outline begins to be clear and vivid. As such, the wallpaper has been used an imagery to convey repression and lack of expression in women.
Magazine, New England. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman,”The Yellow Wallpaper”.” Colonial Literature, 1607-1776 (2010): 134.