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throughout the house. This implores the illusion of “[t]he ‘fear of power’ embodied in Gothic
romance [because the] fear not only of supernatural powers but also of social forces so vast and impersonal that they seem to have supernatural strength” (Davison). The narrator allows the yellow wallpaper to dictate her thoughts due to her fear. She holds a fear for objects and ideas she fails to understand and the supernatural element of the creeping image only arouses her curious mind and the fight within her heart even more. However, the true element of feminism is embodied within the yellow wallpaper. Barbara Hochman also supports St. Jean’s claims and explores the deeper meaning of the yellow wallpaper only to argue that the wallpaper symbolizes a mirror reflecting the true feelings of the narrator. Barbara claims: “the wall-paper has often been seen to represent the ‘patriarchal text’ in which literary women —in fact, all women—are trapped” (Hochman 91). The fact that the narrator envisions a woman behind bars adheres to the claim that the narrator is the ensnared figure herself and she is merely witnessing her own entrapment since she also resides in a room where “the windows are barred” (Gilman) and she is not free to express her thoughts or her opinions. All her emotions and expressions are suppressed by her husband’s authoritative and oppressive nature because he “is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures” (Gilman). The protagonist “proudly [declares] that there is something queer about [the house]” (Gilman). Yet, her husband merely brushes her antics off with a scoff and disregards her opinions. Therefore, in doing so, he causes her to turn towards her diary and “seeks to express herself through paper. . . . [S]he converts the wallpaper into her text . . . [and] recognizes in [it] elements of her own resisting self. The wall-paper, in short, is repeatedly seen as a kind of text, yet it is never exactly a text that the narrator writes, nor is it exactly a text that she reads” (Hochman 91). Since the wallpaper does not consist of pages, it is not interpreted as
pages for words. Instead, the wallpaper acts as a canvas to illustrate and mirror the narrator’s own life. Since the wallpaper paints a reflection of the distressed narrator herself, whatever happens to figure in the wallpaper occurs to the narrator also. The first connection between the figure and the narrator lies within the description of the room. Gilman depicts the room with bars and a nailed down bed, similar to a prison. Later on, Gilman also depicts “a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern… and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard” (Gilman). Immediately, the two women share the same situation: imprisonment and the desire to escape.