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What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story?

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Feminist writer Charlotte P. Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper. The plot reveals the suffering of a young woman who has to obey her husband. She receives the “rest cure” for “nervous exhaustion.” Jane is staying inactive in a poorly furnished room with the yellow wallpaper. Loneliness and idleness exhaust the woman so much that she loses her mind. She rips off the ugly wallpaper to free the woman hidden behind them.

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The wallpaper woman appears in the middle of the story. At first, the heroine considers ugly patterns that remind her of poisonous mushrooms or plants. Since she is forbidden to write or draw, her mental energy is pushing the way out. Jane keeps a diary, where she describes the room’s walls in detail. Over time, she begins to see a woman’s outlines, which appear behind the original pattern.

The heroine decides that she must free this woman to get rid of captivity and the obsessive vision. She furiously rips off the old wallpaper and sees many women coming out of the wall. They hide, and the heroine again sees them on the street out of the window. They creep without having the strength to straighten up. At this moment, her husband enters the room, who is so shocked by what is happening that he faints. Jane is surprised by his mental weakness. She notes that he fell just at the wall along which her path lies, and she has to crawl over him.

In this form, the author expressed the heroine’s symbolic liberation, protest, and final elevation over her husband. The woman behind the wallpaper reflects Jane’s independence and creativity shackled in ugly frames. Therefore, releasing women behind the wallpaper, the heroine symbolically frees herself. The image of creeping women enhances the emotional content of the author’s message.

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"What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story?" IvyPanda, 2 Dec. 2020, ivypanda.com/q/what-role-does-the-wallpaper-woman-play-in-the-story/.

1. IvyPanda. "What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story?" December 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-role-does-the-wallpaper-woman-play-in-the-story/.


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IvyPanda. "What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story?" December 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-role-does-the-wallpaper-woman-play-in-the-story/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story?" December 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-role-does-the-wallpaper-woman-play-in-the-story/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'What Role Does the Wallpaper Woman Play in the Story'. 2 December.

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