The changes in the wallpaper’s description show how the mental state of the narrator worsens. A slightly irritating wallpaper becomes an unbearable sight, concealing a creeping woman.
The short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is one of the essential works of feminist literature. The author structures it as several journal entries. An unnamed female narrator is the main character. The woman is staying at an old mansion and trying to recover from mental fatigue. Unable to work and create, the woman starts writing a diary in secret. The yellow wallpapers of the attic fill most of her thoughts. They bring anger and irritation. She is not able to have any creative freedom or leave. The sight of the wallpaper starts to shift in the woman’s eyes. At first, it seems to be something she dislikes, but later it grows further and further. The woman starts to see the details of the wallpaper she hates and new patterns on it. Interactions with her husband irritate her. The woman becomes more distant from him. Although she attributes it “to this nervous condition”, she cannot do anything about it. At one point, the narrator even starts seeing a woman behind the wallpaper and thinks about her fate. The mental state of the narrator worsens. She relates with the woman’s identity behind the wallpaper. At the end of the story, she rips the wallpaper and frees the imagined woman, who disappears. The narrator tries to release herself from domestic confinement when she does it.