The Creeping Shadows!


The creeping woman mentioned in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is actually the wife’s shadow! The story is told from the wife point of view in a colonial mansion. As the story progress, John’s wife is slowly descending into madness till the end where it seem madness has consumed her. The important thing is “What did she saw?”

What is the creeping woman? The first time the wife mentioned the creeping woman as “And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern” at this time the quote has no meaning till we combine evidence from other parts of the story to piece together the identity of this creeping woman. The next time she mentions the creeping woman she described it as “It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight”, but she make connection to herself right after “I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.” These two quotes we can make conclusion this creeping woman and the wife has same habits of creeping at daylight. This mean there is a chance the creeping woman is the wife.

How is this creeping woman and the wife related? The next time she described the creeping woman’s speed “I have watched her sometimes away off in the open country, creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in a high wind.” If we look at the part “creeping as fast as a cloud shadow”, this could mean that creeping woman is a shadow. To the ending where the wife say “I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard!” at this point the wife is using “I” and get back behind the pattern when night comes. This mean that the creeping woman and the wife is refereed as one individual. Although at this point of story the wife is already descending into madness and insanity, so hard to take this as actually evidence.

This does make sense describing the wife and creeping woman are same entity because going back to quote where the wife first mentioned the creeping woman. The creeping woman is hiding behind the pattern, and this time the wife was trying hide behind the pattern. This mean the creeping woman is actually the shadow of the wife and is reinforced by action she taken to help the creeping woman “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled” this describe the shadow as reflection of her actions. She pulled the shadow shook, and when she shook the shadow pulled

In conclusion, if combine all evidence that the creeping woman is actually the shadow, but more specially the shadow of the wife. It fits to why the wife has trouble see her shadow at night because only rare chance is if moonlight shine into the room. It also explain the first time the wife mentioned the creeping woman it, she herself was in stooping position and looking at the pattern as the shadow is creeping on the pattern since how it projected.  In the end, what started this insanity was seeing her shadow and yellow wallpaper, there some saying shadow is one true self and the wife as denying it in the begin till she accept it at the end.

4 thoughts on “The Creeping Shadows!

  1. Kina

    I like how you pointed that out. I myself, was focusing on the fact that her husband did not listen to her and how that contributed to her madness. however, I like this point of view to cause it gives you another way of how to look at the story.

  2. Ita Flores

    I agree with your statements! I think it’s also interesting how in the nursery that the narrator is in there are bars on the windows. If the creeping woman is the narrator’s shadow than we can assume that the light from the windows is what casts the shadow; this would also explain the moving sub patterns that the narrator sees in the walls because as the sun moves throughout the day so would the shadows being cast by the bars on windows!

  3. Gemanna

    I am so glad you brought this point up! As i reread the story a second time, I started to see way more evidence suggesting that this woman in the wall who the narrator seems to be so curious and frightened of was indeed her shadow! Symbolically, her freeing this woman was her breaking free from her literal prison (bars on windows) and evolving from the hushed and confined state her husband had her in.

  4. Terry_L

    I strongly agree with you statements. In the beginning I really thought the creeping woman was actually the woman herself in the imagination, however, I read the other parts, I found this answer was a little strained. Everything does make sense now, thank you for bringing this point up!


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