As the Fourth of July came and went, the narrator’s family had just visited, leaving her more exhausted than ever. John jokingly suggested sending her to Weir Mitchell, the real-life doctor who treated Gilman for a nervous breakdown. The narrator was mostly alone and found herself becoming increasingly fond of the wallpaper, making it her primary source of entertainment. As she studied it, she noticed a sub-pattern that resembled a woman “stooping down and creeping” behind the main pattern, which looked like the bars of a cage. Whenever she tried to talk about leaving the house, John would make light of her worries, effectively silencing her. This only increased her disgusted fascination with the paper. Soon, the wallpaper became the narrator’s sole focus, and she became possessive and secretive, making sure no one else looked at it so she could “find it out” on her own.
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