The Yellow Wallpaper DJ
Purpose : The setting the narrator is surrounded in brings light to her physical and mental restraint.
Also, it highlights gender roles and female submissiveness.
On a pattern like this, by daylight, there is a lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant to a normal mind.
The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.
You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it turns a back somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream.
The outside pattern is a florid arabesque, reminding one of a fungus. If you can imagine a toadstool in joints, an interminable string of toadstools, budding and sprouting in endless convolutions--why, that is something like it.
In this passage daylight is symbolic of the narrator herself. In the dawn the wallpaper is at its most
Hideous, while the sunlight is symbolic of turning a blind eye to the grotesqueness. John is
associated with the sunlight because he fails to realize the torture his wife is being put through.
However another disturbing thing is the narrator at the end of this passage saying she “likes” the
confusion of the wallpaper. The “interminable string of toadstools” also creates an image of no stop
growth along with feeling suffocated. Mushrooms are usually poisonous which also adds to the
toxic setting she is. The wallpaper is almost feeding off the narrator’s weakness of insanity, much
like mushrooms thrive of decaying and dank things. There is also irony in the statement “there is
a lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant to a normal mind.” Because although
the narrator is associated with dawn and the darkness she is still imprisoned and free to define the
“laws” that both John and Jennie have put on her. The statement “it’s like a bad...