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Word Count: 515
The Yellow Wallpaper A major theme in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is that solitary confinement and exclusion from the public results in insanity The use of imagery and setting helps illustrate this theme throughout the story The unnamed protagonist in this story suffers from a nervous disorder which is enhanced by her feeling of being trapped within a room The setting of the vast colonial mansion and particularly the nursery room with barred windows provides an image of loneliness and seclusion experienced by the protagonist Another significant setting is the mansion connected by a shaded lane 66 to the beautiful bay and private wharf It is possible that in her mind she sees a path which leads to the curing of her illness where happiness and good health awaits at the end The reason the lane is shaded is because she is uncertain whether or not this path can be traveled Upon moving into the mansion she immediately becomes obsessed with the nursery room wallpaper with sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin 64 Her days and nights are so uneventful that she finds relief in writing a journal which becomes more tiresome as her sickness progresses In every few paragraphs in her journal she analyzes the wallpaper Through the imagery she evokes from the wallpaper it can be seen that she is really analyzing herself and her illness subconsciously For example she begins to see a strange provoking formless sort of figure that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design 67 She describes her illness as seen in the wallpaper as not arranged on any laws of radiation or alternation or repetition or symmetry or anything else that I ever heard of 68 In other words she cannot make any sense of what is causing her illness A pivotal moment in the story is when the woman protagonist is concerned only with the yellow wallpaper in her
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