The Yellow Wallpaper | Study Guide

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Yellow Wallpaper | Section 9 | Summary



The narrator has figured out that the outer pattern moves because the woman behind it shakes it, trying to climb through it. Sometimes she sees many women trapped in the wallpaper, and sometimes, only one. But she notes it can't be escaped from—those who try get strangled in the pattern.


The fact that the narrator thinks there may be one woman, or possibly many, behind the wallpaper pattern brings out the symbolic nature of the woman. She represents the narrator, but she also represents many women, maybe all women. This helps connect readers to the larger theme of women's roles in society, and how there are patterns in place that confine women.

The wallpaper pattern is quite violent now—where before it was "torturing" and would "slap," now it will "strangle." This reflects the narrator's growing agitation from her confinement.

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