The Yellow Wallpaper: Interpretation & Analysis Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction Essay

This essay aims to make an analysis and interpretation of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. While discussing the short story’s central theme, it is necessary to highlight some fundamentals of it. There is a need to point out that the author is deeply concerned about the role of women in society.

The Yellow Wallpaper: Literary Analysis

In the following paragraph of the essay, The Yellow Wallpaper will be analysed in terms of its main literary devices. From the very beginning, it becomes evident that the protagonist of the short story is oppressed and the oppression is depicted symbolically. For instance, one is to keep in mind that Gilman relies on rather complicated symbols, including the window, the wall paper, etc. The house is mostly associated with freedom, as the author provides us with her psychological vision of a woman’s transformation. In other words, she allows us to understand that the house is considered to be the symbol of self-expression.

On the other hand, the protagonist cannot feel safe, as she is not in her own house. Thus, nobody can say that the house is a symbol of security; it should be regarded as a place, which allows us to observe a woman’s metamorphosis. While analyzing the short story, one can probably notice that the main character feels uncertainty and fear. For instance, she says that “There is something strange about the house” (Gillman p. 1).

However, there is no need to understand the phrase “sensu stricto”. On the contrary, a deeper analysis of a woman’s worldview, allows us to suppose that for her there is something strange about her expectations and hopes; although she is not ready yet to accept the process of transformation and consider it necessary. In other words, one should regard a woman’s metamorphosis as an evolutionary process.

Negative Connotations and Interpretation of The Yellow Wallpaper

The main symbol in the story, which one cannot neglect, is the widow. Generally, at first sight, it seems that the window should represent a woman’s potential; however, the author gives us a negative connotation. The protagonist does not want to look out of the window, as she can see many other women, who must creep, to belong to society.

Thus, the main character of C.P.Gilman’s short story does not want to see her real personality, as other women symbolize her reflection. In other words, one can conclude that the window is not a symbol of various possibilities; it is a trap. Even though the woman experiences transformation, she cannot fight against her demons, as she seems to be alone in her fight.

The room the main character is in is of particular importance, as it forms the protagonist’s emotions and attitude to reality. For instance, the author draws our attention to the yellow wall-paper. Thus, it is the colour, which influences the protagonist’s reasoning about life. The woman says that “The colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gillman p. 1).

The protagonist’s only hope is her thoughts. She sees no way to avoid cruel reality; however, the wallpaper allows her to escape. The author points out that the image in the wallpaper symbolizes all the women who must creep, in order to stay a part of the world.


This essay aimed to make a critical analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper. In summary, the short story written by Charlotte Gilman allows us to become familiar with women’s oppression in the 19th century. Gilman depicts the psychological portrait of women who feel trapped.

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte. The Yellow Wallpaper. Small & Maynard, Boston: MA, 1899. Print.

Read more
Leave a comment
Order Creative Sample Now
Choose type of discipline
Choose academic level
  • High school
  • College
  • University
  • Masters
  • PhD

Page count
1 pages
$ 10