Gilman utilizes a decaying setting in The Yellow Wallpaper to create a tense and eerie atmosphere in the gothic story. The story takes place in an abandoned house that has been empty for years, giving it a haunted feel. The narrator spends most of her time in an isolated room with yellow wallpaper, which is described as a smoldering unclean yellow that represents suppressed emotions. The setting is portrayed as tranquil, but it is actually a place of imprisonment for the narrator. The narrator is a victim of societal standards and male dominance, which is evident through the excessive use of repetition and first-person narration. The fact that the narrator’s name is not disclosed in the story shows John’s ownership over her. The narrator’s entrapment in her marriage is also depicted through her imprisonment in the room and her husband’s disregard for her feelings. The gothic images in the story foreshadow the unhealthy marriage and the narrator’s desire to leave it.
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