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Word Count: 864
The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper is the story of womens struggle for independence in a patriarchal society In the story the wallpaper is an important symbol as is the woman behind it The narrators thoughts about the wallpaper tell us a great deal of how she feels about the situation she is in The theme of the story is that by tearing off the chains of oppression one can obtain independence The wallpaper in the story has two layers one that is most evident and one that is symbolic and therefore less visible The outside layer is in fact a persons false front the one that people let society see the image of what society expects if you will In the beginning of the story the narrator hates the wallpaper I never saw a worse paper in my life 140 The wallpaper is a representation of how women conform according to societys standards During the time in which the narrator lived the late 1800s society had very patriarchal standards that is to say women were expected to behave properly and be subservient Her hatred of this conformist attitude becomes known to us when she states It is dull enough constantly irritate lame uncertain curves 140 In essence she hates having to act the way society dictates The woman behind the wallpaper is a symbol of the narrators inner-self her real identity Just as the woman in the paper yearns for freedom And she is all the time trying to climb through 150 so does the narrator as we see when she says how I wish he would let me go and make a visit to 144 Both these women are striving for escape but are prevented from doing so Her overly protective husband stops the narrator and the bars in the pattern of the wallpaper block the woman in the wallpaper People behave differently
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