Why Does The Narrator First Dislike The Yellow Wallpaper?

At the beginning of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator has a strong aversion to the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom, which is a representation of her confinement and oppression. Her husband, John, a physician, has prescribed her complete rest and inactivity as a cure for her nervous condition, so she is stuck in a single room in their summer home with nothing to do but look at the wallpaper. The wallpaper’s “sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” is a reflection of her feelings of being trapped and suffocated. It is also symbolic of the patriarchal society of the time that sought to control and limit women to the domestic sphere, and her dislike for it is a manifestation of her resentment towards this structure. Additionally, her growing obsession with the wallpaper is a metaphor for her own descent into madness. As she spends more and more time staring at it, she begins to see the patterns as moving, which reflects her own mental deterioration. Her increasing hatred for the wallpaper symbolizes her increasing disillusionment with her reality and her realization that she is stuck in a life she does not want. In conclusion, the narrator’s initial dislike of the yellow wallpaper in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a symbol of her oppression, confinement, and growing disillusionment with her situation. It is a reflection of her frustration with patriarchal societal norms and a manifestation of her descent into madness. The yellow wallpaper serves as a powerful symbol of the narrator’s struggle against the constraints imposed upon her by her husband and the larger societal structure.

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