Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a well-known, leading American role model for women, a novelist and sociologist, a lecturer for a social reform, as well as an insightful writer. "The Yellow Wallpaper"" is about a woman that suffers from a mental illness and is kept in a room with only a bed and her own thoughts, which ultimately lead to her mental downfall. In this short story, the author uses the yellow wallpaper as a prominent symbol to represent the web of restraints that affected so many women in that time era. Also, Gilman incorporates a significant amount of anthropomorphism that seems to give life to the illness as well as the wallpaper. .
Gilman builds the majority of this story on the yellow wallpaper that stands as a symbol for the many struggles that a women in that day and age had to deal with. While studying the wallpaper in a different light, Jane says, "the color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing"" (Pg19). It seems as though the adjectives have an ulterior target. It's "hideous " how the men refused to acknowledge any type of equality with women, and when they did decide to give women an opportunity at equality, it was normally "unreliable"." The use of the adjectives "torturing " and "infuriating " are directed towards the emotional distress women were feeling.
After further investigation of this yellow wallpaper, Jane claims to have seen a woman, sometimes many women, stuck behind or within the wallpaper. "And she is all the time trying to climb through that pattern. But no one could climb through that pattern - it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads"" (pg25). It is my understanding that in this phrase, the wallpaper is to resemble the strong hold that men have on women, and that no one can escape because the consequences are quite terrible, for later in the page, Jane explains that once they get through "the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white"" (pg25).