The changes in the wallpaper’s description show how the mental state of the narrator gets worse. The irritating pattern becomes an unbearable sight. Jane believes that there is a creeping woman behind it.
The Yellow Wallpaper was written by Charlotte P. Gilman. It is remarkable as one of the valuable works of feminist literature. The narration is structured as a series of diary entries of a female narrator.
The woman is staying at an old mansion, trying to recover from a mental illness. Unable to work or find anything to occupy herself with, she writes a diary in secret. The yellow wallpaper of the attic fills most of her thoughts. It brings anger and irritation. The pattern of the wallpaper starts to shift in her eyes. At first, it seems to be something she dislikes, but the effect increases. The character begins to pick out the details of the wallpaper, finding new patterns. Talking to her husband irritates her, and she becomes more distant from him. Although she attributes it “to this nervous condition,” she cannot resist the alienation.
At one point, the narrator sees a woman behind the wallpaper and ponders on her fate. In the end, she rips the wallpaper apart, freeing the woman who disappears. The poor mental state of the narrator takes its toll. She assumes the identity of the woman behind the wallpaper and frees herself from the domestic prison.