In "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator symbolizes the effect of the oppression of women in society in the 19th Century. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the author reveals that the narrator is torn between hate and love, but emotions are difficult to determine. The effects are produced by the use of complex themes used in the story, which assisted her oppression and reflected on her self-expression. John also wants the narrator to cater to himself and their child before anyone or anything else. Although John tries to govern the narrator, his society is the based on the same nature.
The Yellow Wallpaper is a symbol of oppression in a woman who felt her duties were limited as a wife and mother and also for her to cater to her husband’s every demand. The wallpaper shows a sign of female imprisonment and silence. Since the wallpaper is always near her, the narrator begins to analyze the reasoning behind it. Over time, she begins to realize someone is behind the wallpaper that is trapped and is struggling to break through it. After the fact, she believes she is also trapped along with the figure behind the wallpaper. The narrator claims her husband John “…makes all decisions for her and isolates her from the things she cares about…” (Sustana). He also sees his wife as a “little girl” and has trapped her inside the wallpaper. When the narrator tears the wallpaper down, she concludes the wallpaper was the oppression of masculine sunlight and has given her a new identity. As the woman inside of the wallpaper crawled around, the narrator must crawl around her room because the result of “feminist uprising.”
Gilman describes how the narrator’s creativity is being held back from her husband John. Since the narrator is ill with a “nervous” disease, he takes advantage on changing her creativity and imagination by forcing her to sacrifice her writing skills. Her husband demands the narrator resume her job as being a wife and mother.