Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story The Yellow Wallpaper which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Full Versionby Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
The story is written in the first person as a
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"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 6,000-word short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in 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.
The story is written in the first person as a series of journal entries. The narrator is a woman whose husband — a physician — 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 entries from him so that she can recuperate from what he has diagnosed as 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 illustrates 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 room's wallpaper.
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