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The narrator’s struggle to gain her own identity through self-expression finally comes to an end when John passes out from the shock he experiences at the sight of the torn up bedroom. “Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time” (Gilman 69)! The imagery in this quote, as the narrator is understood to be physically on top of John, helps to solidify the readers notion that by evokingsuch a womanly response in John by causing him to faint, the narrator has gained the upper-handin their relationship and has finally managed to reverse the gender roles that are placed upon her and husband by society.The feminist views of the author are further expressed through the surroundings of the narrator, primarily her bedroom due to the fact that the majority of the story takes place there. While her room is a physical form of imprisonment because of her inability to leave it without violating the terms of her prescribed “resting cure” it is also a mental prison due to it’s lack of stimulation. The narrator describes it as “airy” (Gilman 57), and goes as far as to mention that thefurniture had to be brought from downstairs, suggesting that the room is fairly barren and void ofopulence. The room is also said to have bars on the window, rings in the walls, and the bed nailed down, which the narrator has associated with the belief that it was once a gymnasium for children, but the reader is led to believe that it was actually a room equipped to house an insane person. The imagery of this room brings to light the mental aspect of the narrator’s imprisonmentby correlating the true purpose of the room, with the mental illness of the narrator.
Dodson 4The wallpaper in the bedroom becomes a metaphor for the restrains that society imparts