Last Updated 20 Jun 2022


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1. The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” undergoes a profound change from the beginning of the story to the end. How is her change revealed in relation to her response to the wallpaper? How does she fell about the change? How do your feeling differ from the narrator’s? The narrator is more passive as she first interacted with the yellow wallpaper in the big, airy room. Then the narrator becomes more active as she obsesses with the yellow wallpaper and the sub-pattern behind it and investigates them at night.

She likes the change and falls in love with the big, airy room because of the yellow wallpaper. She finds out life is much more excited than used to be. Rather than becoming better than the narrator used to be, I feel her nervous depression develops to be more and more serious. 2. The narrator describes the room with the yellow wallpaper as a former nursery — that is, a room in a large house where children played, ate their meals, and may have been educated.

What evidence is there that it may have a different function? How does that discrepancy help develop the character of the narrator and communicate the themes of the story? The narrator supposes when this was used as a playroom they had to take the nursery things out, for she never saw such ravages as the children have made here. 3. Much of the language used to describe the narrator’s experience has both a denotative (descriptive) function and a connotative (symbolic or figurative) function.

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How do the meaning of such words and phrases as “yellow,” “creeping,” “immovable bed,” and “outside pattern” change as they appear in different parts of the story? 4. Look at the description of the wallpaper in paragraphs 96- 104. How does the syntax of the sentences both mirror the pattern on the wallpaper and suggest the narrator’s agitation? Gilman uses comma instead of period before or after “I” in paragraph 96. The use of comma makes the pattern on the wallpaper sounds disordered and shows the narrator’s agitation.

Gilman uses repetition which reflects both the pattern on the wallpaper and the narrator’s agitation in paragraph 97. “Any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repletion, or symmetry, or anything else that I ever heard of” suggests the irregular pattern of the wallpaper and also the narrator’s agitation. Gilman also uses a serious of complex sentences to indicate the perplexing of the pattern of the yellow wallpaper and the narrator’s mood. 5. The narrator’s husband, John, maintains his composure — and single-mindedness — for nearly the whole story.

Characterize his change at the end. How does his fainting add another level of subversion to this early feminist story? Even though the narrator’s husband, John, maintains his composure and single-mindedness for nearly the whole story, when he finds out most of the wallpaper has been pulled off and the narrator keeps creeping on the ground, he fainted. His fainting adds another level of subversion to this early feminist story, because it indicates male will finally regret for their control on women.

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