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Question #3 :The Yellow Wallpaper
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What is the narrator’s connection to the room’s wall paper?  What has she obviously been doing in the course of the story?  What does this show about her mental condition? 

 

I believe the narrator has a multiple connections with the room’s wall paper.  She not only exhibits a physical and metaphorical relationship with the wall paper, but I also believe that the latter can be viewed in different lights.  The wall paper is a physical feature in the room with which she has a tumultuous relationship.  She hates it.  She grows to understand and observe it through the ‘woman’ who creeps within it.  She strategically strips it down throughout the story.   It is easy to compare the deteriorating wall paper with her deteriorating mind.  She continues to strip away the teasing façade but is at the same time she is crippling her own mind.  The barer the walls become, the barer her mind becomes.  Originally, I read this as a bad thing.  But when I give it more thought, I see a duality of the metaphor.  The active destruction of her wall paper doesn’t have to reflect deterioration of her mind.  Actually, given that she is actively destroying the wall paper (which so heavily bothers her) I see her as proactively freeing herself from her mental issues.  It is easy to read the last lines as clear craziness.  I can picture her staring crazily at her husband.  “I’ve got out at last… I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”  But given the background offered in her mini biography, where it is mentioned that the story was published two years after she left her husband for her womanly independence, I can see the last lines in a new light.  She may look at him with craziness in her eyes, but with a new found vigor to strip her husband off of the walls of her life. 


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Thank you for your timely work—I’ve SCADmailed your comments and updated your online journal score.

Have a great night.

Best,
Prof. Kim

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