The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Yellow Wallpaper is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women's physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The story is written as a collection of first person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working, and has to hide her journal entries from him, so that she can recuperate from what he calls a "temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency," a diagnosis common to women in that period. Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper, and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up.

Wilder Publications is a green publisher. All of our books are printed to order. This reduces waste and helps us keep prices low while greatly reducing our impact on the environment.

A woman gradually suffers a mental breakdown as a result of confinement and denial of her creative energies by her husband.

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Editorial Reviews

Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was first published in 1892; since its republication in 1973, it has entered the canon of American literature and generated extensive critical commentary. This edition of the story is accompanied by a generous selection of cultural and historical documents, among them: excerpts from 19th- century advice manuals for young women and mothers; medical texts discussing the nature of women's sexuality; social reform literature concerning women's rights, the working classes, and immigration; and excerpts from periodicals, diaries, and writers' notebooks. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617202063
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications
  • Publication date: 1/24/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 38
  • Sales rank: 179,987
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. She published her best-known short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in 1892. One of her greatest works of non-fiction, Women and Economics, was published in 1898. Along with writing books, she established a magazine, The Forerunner, which was published from 1909 to 1916.
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Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations
Pt. 1 The Yellow Wallpaper: The Complete Text 1
Introduction: Cultural and Historical Background 3
Chronology of Gilman's Life and Times 29
A Note on the Text 40
The Yellow Wallpaper [1892 New England Magazine Edition] 41
Pt. 2 The Yellow Wallpaper: Cultural Contexts 61
1 Conduct Literature and Motherhood Manuals 63
A Treatise on Domestic Economy 65
The Ugly-Girl Papers 74
Psycho-Physical Culture 90
"What Shall We Do with the Mothers?" 95
Winsome Womanhood: Familiar Talks on Life and Conduct 102
How to Win: A Book for Girls 110
The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs 120
2 Invalid Women 130
Wear and Tear, or Hints for the Overworked 133
"Nervousness and Its Influence on Character" 142
"The Evolution of the Rest Treatment" 144
Maternity; A Book for Every Wife and Mother 150
The Household Monitor of Health 155
The Ladies' Guide in Health and Disease 157
"Puerperal Mania" 173
The Puerperal Diseases 180
3 Sexuality, Race, and Social Control 189
1873 Comstock Law 192
Traps for the Young 195
Address to the National Congress of Mothers, March 13, 1905 203
"The Causes of Race Superiority" 210
American Nervousness 214
"Sexual Perversion in the Female 229
"Sexual Inversion in Women" 236
Psychopathia Sexualis 247
Pure Sociology 252
"Parasitism and Civilised Vice" 259
4 Movements for Social Change 278
The Word 281
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 286
Twenty Years at Hull-House 297
Theory of the Leisure Class 311
Women and Economics 317
"Think Husbands Aren't Mainstays" 325
"Dr. Clair's Place" 327
The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman 334
5 Literary Responses and Literary Culture 345
"Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper?" 347
On the Reception of "The Yellow Wallpaper" 349
Criticism and Fiction 352
The Notebooks 362
The Diary of Alice James 364
"The Story of an Hour" 366
Selected Bibliography 370
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