The narrator is telling the story in her perspective. She is describing exactly what she is going through with her marriage and she is also explaining exactly how she feels. The narrator of this story is a young woman who is suffering from anxiety and depression after giving birth to her child. She is married to her husband John and they have recently rented a summer home for a few weeks. “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house and reach the height of romantic felicity- but that would be asking too much of fate! (676). The narrator does not believe there is anything wrong with her but her husband, a physician, has diagnosed her with a slight hysterical tendency. Her husband has banned her from the outside world and has not allowed her to work until she gets better. She believes she would feel much better if she goes out and exercise from time to time. “Personally, I believe that congenital work, with excitement and change, would do me good” (677).
The narrator of the story is confined to the upstairs nursery which has the awful yellow wallpaper. The paint and paper look as if boys’ school had used it. It is stripped off- the paper- in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life” (678. ) She is not able to write in her journal which she loves. She needs to hide it from her husband as he visits her room from time to time. The narrator does not seem to be very reliable. She seems like she is going through a tough stage while she is trapped in the upstairs bedroom.
She begins to see a trapped woman figure behind the yellow wallpaper. “The outside pattern, I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be. The narrator’s husband, John, locks her away in her room, so she can get some rest and therefore be cured from her illness. However, as she keeps staring at the yellow wallpaper, the room becomes like a moving prison. The narrator herself claims that she has a nervous condition and how she is different than others and her unusual behavior because of this condition.
Throughout the story she also changes her mind frequently. In the beginning she first said how unappealing the wallpaper is but towards the end of the story she states how she is beginning to like it. “I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wall paper. Perhaps because of the wall paper. ” (686). This gives the reader an idea that she is not too reliable. At the end of the story it seems that she has lost all sense of reality. Being trapped in her room has not made her any better, in fact it has made her loose her mind.
She begins to strip down all of the yellow wall paper. “I pulled and she shook. I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper” (686). Another example of how unreliable the narrator is, is when she gets the idea of jumping out the window to get some exercise. “I am getting angry enough to do something desperate. To jump out the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even try” (687). No person in their right mind would even think of hurting themselves, especially a new mother.
In the end, she strips down the walls and begins to creep around the room when her husband shows up. “It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please! I don’t want to go outside” (687). She now feels like a liberated woman. When he husband shows up in her room and sees her creep around the room, he faints. This can mean that she has finally liberated herself from her husband and he has now become defeated by his wife. “I’ve got out at last. In spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back! ” (687).