The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

3.8 37
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
     
 

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"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 6,000-word short story by the American writer, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health.

Presented in the first person, the

Overview

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 6,000-word short story by the American writer, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health.

Presented in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working, and has to hide her journal from him, so she can recuperate from what he calls a "temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency," a diagnosis common to women in that period. The windows of the room are barred, and there is a gate across the top of the stairs, allowing her husband to control her access to the rest of the house.

The story depicts the effect of confinement on the narrator's mental health, and her descent into psychosis. With nothing to stimulate her, she becomes obsessed by the pattern and color of the wallpaper. "It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper – the smell! ... The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell."

In the end, she imagines 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 she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up. "For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow. But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014658928
Publisher:
Mundus Publishing
Publication date:
07/05/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
53 KB

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The Yellow Wallpaper 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my absolute favorite short stories! I love following the narrator on her slow decline to insanity as she obsesses about the yellow wallpaper...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had forgotten about this story, which I read many years ago and loved. It is a masterpiece of psychological horror. Will probably dream of yellow wallpaper and a creeping woman tonight! *shudder*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are some really good stories about the descent into madness. This is one of them. A relly fun story that gets you to thepoint quickly. Not a long novel. A short story that packs a big punch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read this because it was referenced in American Horror Story, season one. Short story, very weird and written great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strange. Not worth rereading
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this short story in Lit class in college this past semester. It was amazing! Will not spoil it for those who have not read it, but I am glad the wife found an escape, of sorts. Look onYouTube, there is a video of this as well but watch it after you have read the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well-written!
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Madelyn Andrews More than 1 year ago
I read this i english I honors class and it was weird. Twisted, but worth 99 cents i guess
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