The Importance of Symbolism and Imagery In "The Yellow Wallpaper-.
Often times the best work of writing, be it a short story or an extensive novel, is one that examines an issue using a variety of literary techniques, such as symbolism and imagery. Charlotte Perkins Gilman did just that. "The Yellow Wallpaper- is a short story in which a woman, who suffers from some sort of nervous condition, is basically confined to one room in a summer home while on any number of medications. Her husband doesn't allow her to work and even forbids her from writing, which was a deprivation of the only outlet she truly had. Gilman uses various forms of symbolism and imagery throughout the novel that, as in most cases, can be interpreted in a variety of forms. .
One of the most significant examples of imagery and/or symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper- is actually the yellow wallpaper. It surrounds, in somewhat of an encompassing manner, the room occupied by Jane, the main character and narrator. Jane says at the beginning of the story "I never saw worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin- (Gilman 1135). The paper was stripped off in certain areas of the room and apparently its yellow color was more of a stain, while at the same time it possessed some type of bad odor. "It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw "not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old, foul, bad yellow things- (Gilman 1141). To me, somebody with a sickness confined to one room for an extended amount of time should not feel this way about the room they are in. .
This ugly, almost evil wallpaper symbolizes a few different things. In her perception, the paper has eyes and exerts some sort of power over her. Hour after hour she lay in her bed, which is nailed to the floor, and tries to follow the pattern of the wallpaper to the end.