What Does The Wallpaper Symbolize In The Yellow Wallpaper?

Updated: November 28, 2022
The wallpaper symbolizes the protagonist's deteriorating mental state. It also symbolizes the oppressive nature of the patriarchy.
Detailed answer:

The wallpaper in the yellow room is a symbol of the protagonist’s deteriorating mental state. The protagonist is constantly looking at the pattern on the wall, and that repetitive motion suggests that she has become obsessed with it. This indicates that she has begun to lose touch with reality, as it is unlikely that a normal person would stare at one pattern on a wall for so long.

The wallpaper also symbolizes the oppressive nature of the protagonist’s marriage. She describes her husband as being “so distant,” and this distance between them could be causing her to feel trapped both physically and mentally. The fact that he does not seem to care about her feelings could also be why she feels so isolated from him—and maybe even from others—in general.

The wallpaper represents the protagonist’s confinement both physically and mentally. It is literally covering up parts of the room so that she cannot see anything else but this patterned paper, which could symbolize how she feels trapped inside her own mind as well as her physical prison of sorts due to his lack of attention toward anything other than himself or what he wants at any given time during their marriage together!

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What Does The Wallpaper Symbolize In The Yellow Wallpaper?. (2022, Sep 19). Retrieved from