Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

The Yellow Wallpaper

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
3. There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will.
   Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day.
   It is always the same shape, only very numerous.
   And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!

About halfway through the story, the sub-pattern of the wallpaper finally comes into focus. The narrator is being drawn further and further into her fantasy, which contains a disturbing truth about her life. Gilman’s irony is actively at work here: the “things” in the paper are both the ghostly women the narrator sees and the disturbing ideas she is coming to understand. She is simultaneously jealous of the secret (“nobody knows but me”) and frightened of what it seems to imply. Again the narrator tries to deny her growing insight (“the dim shapes get clearer every day”), but she is powerless to extricate herself. Small wonder that the woman she sees is always “stooping down and creeping about.” Like the narrator herself, she is trapped within a suffocating domestic “pattern” from which no escape is possible.