Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper and A Room of One’s Own

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Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper and A Room of One’s Own essay
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In pieces of literature such as, The Yellow Wallpaper and A Room of One’s Own, authors use symbolism to provide a deeper meaning which enhances the purpose of the piece so that it is clear that femininity and the domestic treatment of women has led to subordination and a lack of autonomy (independency).

One way the authors use symbolism to provide a deeper meaning which enhances the purpose of the piece is through metaphors. When it comes to symbolism, most authors use metaphors as a figure of speech to connect it to something else. For example, the literature piece, The Yellow Wallpaper, talks about how many women back then, had post-pardon depression or as men called it, temporary nervous depression for many reasons.

Therefore, women were isolated which was always recommended by male doctors. In this piece, a woman named Jane had post-pardon depression and had to be isolated in her house. Jane described the house as being , “ quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village. It makes me think of English places that you read about, for there are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people (648).” As Jane describes what the house looks, the more isolated and closed off the house seems; it’s as if her husband, John is trying to keep Jane away from the real world as possible. He’s trying to trap her in this bubble to make sure she doesn’t get distracted from getting better from her so-called illness which isn’t giving her the independency she needs.

Later in the story, Jane also describes how she feels during the day, that, “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still. It is so puzzling. It keeps me quiet by the hour (653). Usually, when the sun is up, the world is awake being being proactive and enjoying their day. For Jane when its daytime, she does nothing but stay trapped in her room either sleeping or staring at the patterned yellow wallpaper in the nursery she stays in while the rest of the world is going on with their day. However, Jane isn’t doing this to herself, she’s doing it based on her husband and the doctors orders because that’s the only choice she has while having lack of autonomy

In addition, color is also used to symbolize a deeper meaning to enhances the purpose of the piece. In the literature piece The Yellow Wallpaper, there many colors that symbolized deeper meanings. One color was the yellow wallpaper in her isolated room. As she spent more time with that wallpaper, Jane exclaimed, “it stained everything it touched, that she had found yellow smooches on all my clothes and John’s, and she wished we would be more’ careful (653)!” In this story, the yellow wallpaper represents her sickness.

The more time she’s with wallpaper, the more she feeds in to her temporary nervous depression. This gives a deeper meaning that, the wallpaper is starting to consume her, taking over her and everything around her thinking that that there’s no way out of this sickness and isolation. Jane also exclaims that, “It is the strangest yellow, that wall­ paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things (654).” Usually the color yellow symbolizes a happy and more bright color. However, the yellow in the wallpaper exemplifies a hideous, infuriating, patterned yellow symbolizing sickness. The color in the room also reminds her of the the reason why she’s so depressed which shows the domestic treatment of her state.

Another way symbolism is used for a deeper meaning is through objects. In the literature piece, A Room of One’s Own, the character, Virginia Woolf, talks about how hard it was for women back when it came to their independency, their dreams, and lack of autonomy. One day she was sitting looking at the water and exclaimed how she had an “Eration of an idea at the end of one’s line: and then the cautious hauling of it in, and the careful laying of it out? Alas, laid on the grass how small, how insignificant this thought of mine looked; the sort of fish that a good fisherman puts back into the water so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth cooking and eating (4-5).”

Translating this quote to a deeper meaning, Virginia had a thought in her head that she found interesting and exciting. Therefore, she tries to catch that thought and hold on to it like fishers catching fish. However, the thought was then lost into oblivion by a beadle. This shows how women are not allowed to pursue there thoughts like men are especially when it comes to their education showing the lack in confidence in independency they’re allowed to have

Not only do authors use symbolism through objects to provide a deeper meaning but, however, it is also used through how people are treated. In the literature piece, A Room of One’s Own, the character Virginia Woolf is faced with sexism. As Virginia went to go write down a though she had, running outside through the campus, a security guard stopped her saying that she didn’t belong where she was stand because it was for men only. She solemnly walked off as she said to herself, “He was a Beadle; I was a woman. This was the turf; there was the path.

Only the Fellows and Scholars are allowed here; the gravel is the place for me (5).” When it comes to the deeper meaning of this quote, the security guard is in charge of the security of her thoughts and he wants her to get off the grass because the grass is for men and Scholars only. Metaphorically speaking, Virginia will never have a thought of her own without men coming in the way and either destroying it or taking it. Therefore, women will never be in the path of success and education because of the norms of society which is why the treatment of women has led to subordination and lack of autonomy.

Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper and A Room of One’s Own essay

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Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper and A Room of One’s Own. (2021, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/symbolism-in-the-yellow-wallpaper-and-a-room-of-ones-own/


What are some examples of symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper?
The symbols and their meanings include: the room, symbolizing a prison and the narrator's declining mental state; the wallpaper, representing society and the patriarchy; the figure in the wallpaper, which turns into a creeping woman and then the narrator, herself, and which represents the narrator; the diary,
What are two symbols in The Yellow Wallpaper?
There are several important symbols in "The Yellow Wallpaper" that rely on each other. Two of the main symbols are the wallpaper, which is a symbol of patriarchy, and the mysterious figure, which is a symbol of oppressed women .
What does the room symbolize in a room of one's own?
She uses the room as a symbol for many larger issues, such as privacy, leisure time, and financial independence , each of which is an essential component of the countless inequalities between men and women.
What does the room symbolize in The Yellow Wallpaper?
The room that the narrator inhabits is falling apart, and symbolizes the impending decay of the woman's mental state .
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