This highlights just how isolated the narrator is
from human contact.
This complete sense of isolation has a
very significant effect on the narrator
and her mental state.
"Nursery at the top of the house."
This emphasises the control John
has over his wife, as he neglects
her from the outside world.
It is also suggested, that John treats the
narrator like a child and is very
condescending towards her, which does not
help her feel any better.
"The colour is repellent, almost revolting."
The narrator has developed a
complete hatred towards the
It can be said that, this symbolises her unhappy
marriage, and also, the pattern symbolises a
prison for her and other women at that time.
"She is all the time trying to climb through."
The narrator believes that there is a woman trying to
escape from behind the wallpaper, as her illness starts to
This suggests that the woman, behind the paper,
symbolises the trapped feeling the narrator has in her
marriage, and also the freedom and equality women in
the 19th century dreamed to receive.
"Most women do not creep by daylight."
This symbolises the lack of freedom, not
only the narrator has, but most women in
the 19th century had as well.
It is apparent that her illness is progressively
deteriorating the longer she lives in the
mansion, away from her child and the
"John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage."
In a marriage, it would be expected that
a person would be comforted in this type
of situation and not judged.
It can be said that all John truly wanted
from the narrator was for her to be a
basic housewife, which could be
considered the norm at this time.
Though the narrator does not think too much of
John’s behaviour at the start of the story, it becomes
more apparent throughout the text that he is a
reason for her mental state completely deteriorating.
"What is one to do?"
The narrator is angered by her situation,
as she believes she knows what is best
for her, but will not question her
This is a result of the oppression she
has been subjected to by him for
many years, as she just gives in to his
At this time, the narrator would be seen
as a nervous wreck, whereas, society
would view John as a practical and
"As if couldn't see through him!"
She encloses herself into her
own world that she starts to
lose her sense of reality.
Her lack of communication with
her closest ones leads her feeling
suspicious about everyone.
She believes that, like the wallpaper,
there is another meaning hidden