What Are The Examples Of Foreshadowing In The Yellow Wallpaper?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Charlotte Gilman uses foreshadowing in The Yellow Wallpaper to convey the theme of insanity. In the beginning of the story there are many foreshadowing lines that illustrate the narrator’s mental deterioration.
Detailed answer:

In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the readers are introduced to the narrator as the main character. She suffers from depression and despite these challenges she still tries to find a way to live a so what called “normal life”. As the protagonist plunges into insanity, her descriptions and views of the wallpaper change.
In the beginning of the story there are some lines that foreshadow the narrator’s further mental decline. First is the discovery of the teeth marks on the bed and that the narrator doesn’t tell the reader everything about her behavior. Next, the word “creepy” foreshadows the increasing desperation of the narrator’s situation and her use of creeping. “It is the same women, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” The narrator is insane because she is sees people in the wallpaper and other places, while there is no one really there. Her depression is playing tricks with her brain making her have hallucinations.
As the narrator's mental state breaks down, her perception of the wallpaper changes. The pattern changes and her outlook on it takes a shocking turn. There are many foreshadowing lines that illustrate to us that the character is now seeing things that others are not. Change is seeping in as she describes what she sees with realness. The narrator at this point in the story is convinced that there is something living in the wallpaper and she is “quite sure it is a woman.” The woman in the wallpaper begins to display vivid concepts to her. At this point in the story the woman is being tested by many things like her husbands disbelief and rejection, societies “normal” and her personal hallucinations. Her mind is testing her and it becomes difficult to find a sane thought after she is gradually sucked in to her illness as she lets it take over her life. She seems to think this is normal. Her desires and self morals are now being shown in compromising ways. She soon becomes infatuated with the smell of the yellow wallpaper. There is a lot more joy when spoken to as she expresses “I am feeling ever so much better” At this point it seems as if she is trapped and taken over by her mental illness and her vision of “normal” has been clouded.

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