The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a short story symbolizing the oppression of women in society. The story deals with the basic behavior of women and their assumed roles in society. The Yellow Wallpaper is filled with symbols representing the protagonists fight for freedom. It deals with her fight to be free from society's standards of women at that time - and can still be applied today. .
The Protagonist's husband, a notable physician, does not want to admit that there is something wrong with his wife because she is lacking physical symptoms of sickness. Her brother, who is also a physician, conforms to her husbands point of view, and she whisked away to the colonial mansion. .
Her husbands stiff insistence that she remain in bed signifies the traditional male role, dominant and commanding. The protagonist abhors the room in which she is put, but she bows to her husbands orders without a second thought; "he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more." In this the protagonist shows how generally submissive she, and most women of the time were. .
As she endlessly stares at the atrocious yellow wallpaper, her sanity comes into question. She eventually notices the image of a phantom woman, trapped behind the wall paper. A situation not unlike her own. "I didn't realize it for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman." .
As she grows more and more upset about the figure in the yellow wallpaper, her suspiscion of her husband and his sister grows to what seems to be irrational hatred. In the end she tears all of the repugnant wallpaper off the wall in an attempt to free the woman, and herself of the horrible yellow paper; "The I peeled off all the paper I could reach it stinks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it!".
There is more to this story than a steady descent into madness, it was a metaphor for the oppression of women in general.