Read The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Online


Best known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than 200 other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here.Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include "turned," an ironic story with a startlBest known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than 200 other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here.Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include "turned," an ironic story with a startling twist, in which a husband seduces and impregnates a naïve servant; "Cottagette," concerning the romance of a young artist and a man who's apparently too good to be true; "Mr. Peebles' Heart," a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; "The Yellow Wallpaper"; and three other outstanding stories.These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humor and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women — and how they might be improved.The yellow wallpaper Three Thanksgivings The cottagette Turned Making a change If I were a man Mr. Peebles' heart....

Title : The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories
Author :
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ISBN : 9780486298573
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 70 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories Reviews

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2019-06-12 00:36

    Woo, intense!

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-06-24 23:23

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Yup, that was me enjoying the spiralling descent into madness. Ok all jokes aside, mental health is a serious issue and something which is more fragile than we realise - do not take it for granted people. We are lucky enough to live in a time when people recognise and understand depression and constructive, helpful treatments can be offered. Unfortunately for Charlotte Perkins Gilman, she inhabited the tail end of the Victorian Period when depression, post-natal or otherwise was a totally mysterious and misunderstood thing. A perfect Victorian solution to outward displays of "unusualness" was to put you in an assylum/prison/attic/foreign country (delete as viable depending on income and social status) and then just tell the neighbours that you were either indisposed for a reaaaaaaallllly long time, or that you were having a "little holiday". Similar to the little holiday you got sent on if you managed to get knocked up without having bagged yourself a husband first. Basically, you were disappeared for a while thus making everyone feel that society had been saved the awful sight of you making a show of yourself. Phew, well we wouldn't want to upset society now, heaven forbid!The Yellow Wallpaper is Perkins Gilmans attempt to express the hopelessness of mental illness; effectively an invisible, inescapable cage around your mind (reflected by the imagery of the caged in woman locked behind the patterns in the wallpaper), which no one in the 1890s was capable of diagnosing correctly. Gilmans suffered from depression and so knew what she was writing about. I do always struggle with the idea of the self restraint which was exhibited by many of these women, the character in the Yellow Wallpaper included. If someone had repeatedly patronised me and told me that really there was nothing wrong with me apart from a mild case of nerves and the tendancy to be a bit hysterical, I'd have probably reacted by shouting"HOW'S THIS FOR HYSTERICAL MOTHER F*CKER", before destroying all the furniture in the room. This snippet of text is short, sharp and truly sad with a suitably ambiguous ending, after all where does the madness end?

  • BrokenTune
    2019-06-21 03:49

    "This wallpaper has a kind of subpattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then. But in the places where it isn’t faded and where the sun is just so—I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design."Classic horror in small doses provided by an author I had not heard about but who is now someone I will seek out for other stories. The Yellow Wallpaper tells the story of a woman who is incarcerated in her own house and basically confined to rest in a room without being allowed to do anything. No work, no mental diversion. All because her keepers - mainly her husband - believe this is what is best for her, even though he does not understand the reason for the woman's illness: "John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him."Over the three months (!) of her confinement, the woman has nothing to occupy her mind except for the room she is in and the wallpaper hanging in pieces: "It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school had used it. It is stripped off—the paper—in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin."In fact, the description of the room strongly reminded me of Stefan Zweig's Chess Story, where a prisoner is held and where isolation, inactivity, and a bare room is used as a form of torture. In order to keep sane, the prisoner starts an imaginary chess game against himself, which he cannot win.So, when reading The Yellow Wallpaper's first few chapters, I suspected that the story might reveal similar motives. As the paragraphs went on, however, I became less interested in the motives of the "carers" (or captors) and instead increasingly interested in the woman's identity. She is not named. Was she a person or was she a ghost? For a story written in 1890, The Yellow Wallpaper packs a lot of punch. I had not expected that the story was not really written as a horror story, but was written as social commentary based on the author's own experience, which in fact just adds to its poignancy. When Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote the The Yellow Wallpaper, she knew about suffering from post-natal depression and had first-hand experience of the then newly developed prescription on rest cures - a treatment consisted primarily in isolation, confinement to bed, dieting, electrotherapy and massage - because she had been a patient of the developer of said cure, Silas Weir Mitchell, who even gets a mention in The Yellow Wallpaper. I guess, this is another instance where fiction and fact are inseparable, and where circumstances that once described the fate of real people will now pass as classic horror.

  • Apatt
    2019-06-23 04:30

    “I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.”Oh my gawd! This story creeped me out! I have never heard ofThe Yellow Wallpaper until I saw this post Reddit’s “r/books”, the books discussion forum. After reading a few comments I decided to save it for reading in October when I tend to be in the mood for spooky reads. The Yellow Wallpaper is about a poor lady with a nervous disposition moving into a creepy (but not haunted) mansion with her husband and sister in law. She is left to her own devices much of the time with little to do and she while away the time in her room with its “disturbing” yellow wallpaper. Her husband, a doctor, instructs her to get a lot of rest and refrain from doing any work. In the absence of anything to occupy her mind, she contemplates the colour and pattern of the wallpaper and begins to “see things”.This is a very effective and disturbing 1892 short story. The author,Charlotte Perkins Gilman, wanted to do more than give you the willies, however. The story is her exploration of how women with mental health issues are condescended to and not taken seriously by the medical profession and even men in general, including those who love them.If you are looking for a quick, creepy read in a more psychological horror vein,The Yellow Wallpaper is just what the doctor ordered. F*k the “rest cure”, man.Art by fit51391Notes:• Sorry I can't review the entire “The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories” collection, only have access to this story.• This story is in the public domain, grab a copy from Project Gutenberg. An audiobook version is also available atLibrivox .Quotes:“John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try.”“But I must not think about that. This paper looks to me as if it KNEW what a vicious influence it had!There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.”“Looked at in one way each breadth stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes—a kind of "debased Romanesque" with delirium tremens—go waddling up and down in isolated columns of fatuity.”

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-06-16 02:37

    Roland Barthes talked about 'writerly' and 'readerly' books. I've struggled for a long time, myself, in trying to come up for terms to talk about the differences between deliberate works and those which are too bumbling, too one-sided, or too ill-informed to make the reader think. While The Yellow Wallpaper brings up interesting points, it does not really deal with them. The text has become part of the canon not for the ability of the author, which is on the more stimulating end of middling, but because it works as a representational piece of a historical movement.As early feminism, this work is an undeniable influence. It points out one of the most apparent symptoms of the double-standard implied by the term 'weaker sex'. However, Gilman tends to suggest more than she asks, thus tending toward propaganda. It may be easy to say this in retrospect when the question "is isolating women and preventing them from taking action really healthy?" was less obvious back then. However, I have always been reticent to rate a work more highly merely because it comes from a different age. Austen, the Brontes, Christina Rossetti, and Woolf all stand on their own merits, after all.This symbolism by which this story operates is simplistic and repetitive. The opinions expressed are one-sided, leaving little room for interpretation. This is really the author's crime, as she has not tried to open the debate so much as close it, and in imagining her opinion to mark the final word on the matter, has doomed her work to become less and less relevant.This is the perfect sort of story to teach those who are beginning literary critique, because it does not suggest questions to the reader, but answers. Instead of fostering thought, the work becomes a puzzle with a solution to be worked out, not unlike a math problem. This is useful for the reader trying to understand how texts can create meaning, but under more rigorous critique, it is not deep or varied enough to support more complex readings.Unfortunately, this means it is also the sort of story that will be loved by people who would rather be answered than questioned. It may have provided something new and intriguing when it was first written, but as a narrow work based on a simplistic sociological concept, can no longer make that claim.The story is also marked by early signs of the Gothic movement, and lying on the crux of that and Feminism, is not liable to be forgotten. The symbolism it uses is a combination of classical representations of sickness and metaphors of imprisonment. Sickness, imprisonment, and madness are the quintessential concepts explored by the Gothic writers, but this work is again quite narrow in its view. While the later movement was interested in this in the sense of existential alienation, this story is interested in those things not as a deeper psychological question, but as the allegorical state of woman.Horror is partially defined by the insanity and utter loneliness lurking in everyone's heart, and is not quite so scary when the person is actually alone and mad. Though it does come from the imposition of another person's will, which is horrific, the husband has no desire to be cruel or to harm the woman, nor is such even hinted subconsciously. Of course, many modern feminists would cling to the notion that independent of a man's desire to aid, he can do only harm, making this work an excellent support to their politicized chauvinism.I won't question the historical importance or influence of this work, but it is literarily very simple. A single page of paper accurately dating the writing of Shakespeare's Hamlet would also be historically important, but just because it is related to the threads of literary history does not mean it is fine literature.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-05-27 23:27

    The Yellow Wallpaper, first published in 1992, is now a staple of middle and high school English classes and college (Gender and )Women’s Studies programs, linked to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Ibsen’s The Doll House and similar texts reflecting on the damage patriarchy does to society, especially to women. Gilman wrote a lot of fiction, and also Women and Economics, was a friend of feminist and social reformer Jane Addams, and was increasingly a feminist critic of society.Gilman also experienced a series of “nervous breakdowns,” and was treated for her condition in one of the “best practices” known at the time for women with “melancholia” with a “rest cure,” denied access to reading and writing (or basically any kind of stimulation), a practice she features in this autobiographical fictional story. There are a lot of theories about what is going on in the story: it could be seen as an example of the gothic, worth of Lovecraft, a woman driven slowly by the patterns in the wallpaper in the room where she is kept isolated by her doctor husband. (She thinks it is a former nursery because there are bars on the windows, and one idea iis the large room was a gymnasium, because there are iron rings on the walls; hey, is this really a sanitarium her husband has put her in?) She, who just recently gave birth to a baby, may have Post Partum Depression, which would not have been a diagnosis 100 years ago. She may be driven crazy by her infantilizing, hyper-rational husband, who might be seen as an emblem of the patriarchy, which has become the conventional reading, and mine. It is convincingly chilling, regardless of your interpretation.I've read it several times over the years, most recently for a class I am teaching on madness in literature.

  • Ron
    2019-06-03 00:37

    5 stars for The Yellow Wallpaper - Excellent short story. After looking into Gilman’s traumatic inspiration for writing it, I was wowed.4 stars for the other stories included in this small book - all were good.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-06-13 02:31

    *PREFACE TO REVIEW: I have a soft spot for literature about descents into madness. I blame it on my mother taking me to see Lost Highway in the theater at a young and tender age. I also blame this film, to a larger extent, on my fashion sense from then to now. Which is to say, I blame my mom. Who is, in fact, more sane than most.*Ah, suicide authors! You do know madness so!!! There have been a few times where I have personally thought that I was going off my rocker, but considering that I've yet to seal my (nonexistent) children into a room so I can gas myself into the ever-receptive arms of Death...or shot myself when I found out I had cancer...or poisoned myself with CHLOROFORM when I found out I had cancer like Gilman did (I don't have cancer), then I guess I'm doing fine, and far from at risk of being a mad genius whose descriptive abilities concerning my slow backward crawl away from the really real realities of for real realness are the first step in accepting my problem, which would be (and is not) insanity. Well, you can't win 'em all, I guess. For example, my rational mind begs me to wonder why "in the hell" Gilman opted for chloroform. I mean if I were crazy (WHICH I'M NOT, YOU WILL RECALL), I could think of much more fashionable, delightful, actually-seeing-angels-and-heaven-on-your-way-out-of-this-mortal-coil-and-into-the-worm-farm ways to go. Just saying, you should always explore all of your options before making a firm decision on any matter...particularly those of notable importance. The Yellow Wallpaper is a well-written and I'm sure at the time quite shocking and groundbreaking feminist rebel-yell. The title story is the bestestest concerns a crazy bitch who goes all crazy like women tend to do (KIDDING, GOODREADS TROLLS! KEEP YOUR CORSETS ON AND CHILL, BABY GIRLS!) The description of the narrator's break with reality is beautifully constructed, exploring the process of "reasoning" that leads a crazy person to firmly believe that they are not crazy, because they've been so gall-darn "rational" the whole time (as you will recall, I myself am not crazy. Trust me, I've thought it through). The rest of the stories present powerful critiques of male/female power dynamics, as well as female/female dynamics from the most sincere to the most socially fabricated, destructive and (sadly) often digested. It says to the readers (consider the audience...1890's folks) "How about NOT THAT. Have you ever considered NOT THAT? Maybe that is a poisonous thought-pattern worthy of, perhaps, a consideration of exploring whatever is NOT THAT." A message worth hearing, and which left its mark on perceptions of gender and identity from 1892 forward. You can't really criticize something like that, can you? A CRITICISM: There is one story in the book called "Turned" which tells of a married couple and their adopted-from-the-streets-mega-hot-girl-daughter-figure. *SPOILER ALERT* Daddy-figure knocks her up. Mommy Dearest finds out, and is a whee bit upset. Here is this girl that she had saved from a life of poverty, personally educated, fed, clothed, the WORKS...all of this only to find out that the ungrateful little brat doll has been fucking your husband? WTF!!?!?!, you say! Yeah, that's right. It's called righteous vindication, and she deserved to experience and work through every bit of her initial feelings of anger. THEY WERE WELL DESERVED. However, Gilman's perspective is that the only person who has done anything wrong is the father-figure. I know, you may be thinking "I smell a Humbert Humbert," but let me fill you in on a little detail. The character being presented as a victim of the savageries of *the male sex* so to speak is 18 years old. Not 12. Not 14. Not 5. She is EIGHTEEN. They say that thirty is the new twenty, which would lead me to believe that in 1892, this poor, innocent "victim" was approaching her 30's as far as everyone else was concerned. Despite this fact, the mother changes her mind, puts on her man-hater suit, and takes the young WOMAN away and raises the child with her, abandoning the man to dwell in his regret without giving him a single opportunity to be involved in the life of his child. This rubbed me the wrong way, and it is my one truly deep gripe with this book. It just seemed so, forgive me but...femi-nazi. Pardon the cliche, but they say "it takes two to tango" for a reason, people.In short, read it. It only takes an hour or two. And never assume you can get away with cheating (especially if you're living it up in the pre-birth control days, thankyouverymuch Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the ensuing feminists you directly inspired). This ramble is over.

  • Celia
    2019-05-27 02:49

    The Yellow Wallpaper and Other StoriesCharlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform.In her lifetime, she wrote over 200 short stories. 7 of them are included here.The Yellow Wallpaper. I could have never imagined that a story describing wallpaper could be so engrossing. The descriptions, however, depict a woman going deeper and deeper into madness. And how the misdiagnosis of her husband aided in that descent.Three Thanksgivings. How a woman triumphs and gets her own way.The Cottagette. What IS the fastest way to a man’s heart?Turned. A woman betrayed finds an answer.Making a Change. Two women collaborate to bring happiness to their lives.If I Were a Man. A woman morphed into a man, hears the men’s thoughts.Mr. Peebles’ Heart. A strong, unselfish woman helps an unselfish man and changes her selfish sister, to boot!!These stories are the workings of a strong, feminist author describing strong women who show their strength through charm and grace. Reminds me of a steel magnolia. The stories read so well and all ended so satisfactorily. Strongly recommend.5 stars.

  • Olivier Delaye
    2019-06-01 05:31

    This well-written story about a depressed and possibly deranged woman who is convinced that the wallpaper of her bedroom is haunted/possessed/inhabited reminded me of China Mieville’s Details, which appears in his short story collection Looking for Jake. In both, the devil is indeed in the details…OLIVIER DELAYEAuthor of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series

  • Gloria Mundi
    2019-06-17 22:41

    This is a short story about a woman's descent into madness and I have just the t-shirt slogan for the protagonist:EXCUSE ME. I HAVE TO GO AND MAKE A SCENE.Because that's what I wanted her to do throughout, but we cannot really expect that from a genteel 19th century lady and that is when the story was written. So does that mean that it is now outdated and irrelevant to us emancipated 21st century women?Personally, I have gone through a period in my life when I took some pretty heavy drugs, stayed up all night staring at the walls (fortunately, not covered in hideous yellow paper) and writing random quotes and poetry on them and indulged in a spot of self-mutilation. I also went through a mild form of "baby blues" after my daughter was born, mainly just bursting into tears whenever anyone said boo to me. I don't know whether I was technically depressed (is there such a thing? I feel there must be, as opposed to just a naturally sad and gloomy person with a tendency for weirdness who is feeling down, which may, I feel, be my particular diagnosis or, maybe, the term I am looking for is medically?) but, in any case, I was expecting to relate.And do you know what, I actually did. What I think worked brilliantly in this story, frighteningly so, is the description of how the protagonist loses her mind by concentrating on the wallpaper, following its patterns, imbuing them with meaning and projecting and externalising her own problems through it. As I said, I used to have a bit of a thing for walls myself (though, clearly, nowhere near to the extent of the heroine, as I am still a sane and functioning member of society, trust me) and I found this aspect of the story, extremely creepy, recognisable and accurate.I could even relate to the submissiveness and the apathy, because I can clearly remember feeling exactly that in my lower moments. That feeling of being completely separate from the whole world and honestly not caring one way or the other, of wanting to just sit there and being too tired to really do or feel anything. The heroine here seems to recognise what is happening, that what her physician husband prescribes as the cure is really not good for her but doesn't really have the energy or the strength of will to stage any sort of opposition other than her little rebellion in writing the journal entries. And, as much as I wanted her to scream and rant and rave, what Gilman writes is actually a much more accurate description of my own experience of the apathy of depression.I also admired the disjointed haunted way in which the story is constructed leaving the reader with multiple questions to ponder. Is she really going mad? Would she still be going mad if she were not confined to a room and lacking any physical and intellectual stimulation? Is her husband a sinister jailer or a loving spouse earnestly trying to help her? Is he even really her husband? And what happens at the end is anyone's guess. (view spoiler)[Some believe that she hangs herself but I'm not so sure as she talks about walking around the room with her shoulder to the wall, making the fade marks she mentions earlier, and having to step over the husband who is lying on the floor supposedly in a faint. Maybe, she kills him? (hide spoiler)]P.S. While I thoroughly enjoyed this particular story and generally enjoy books and movies about descents into madness, I also find the proliferation of mad women in film and literature somewhat disquieting. I have not done any sort of comprehensive analysis but I have personally come across many more insane female characters than male. And the women never seem to go mad in quite the same way men do either because they are so clever (as in A Beautiful Mind)or so brave (as in the case of shell shock (which is, I think, a form of male hysteria, but hysteria was, clearly, a term that was too female to be applied to soldiers) in e.g. Catch-22) or because they actually think that they are turning into a woman (as in Memoirs of My Nervous Illness). The Yellow Paper made me want to read something academic on the subject of women and madness. If anyone is able to recommend anything good on this topic, I am open to suggestions.P.P.S. I only read the title story, so this review and rating only relate to that.

  • Zaki
    2019-05-28 23:26

    A very sad tale about a woman who stares at her yellow wallpaper and gets so irritated and frustrated, that after a while she rips it off the wall.

  • Eryn☘
    2019-06-18 22:31

    5 STARSI only had to read The Yellow Wallpaper for class, however, as soon as I read that short-story, I knew I would have to read her other stories. Gilman's writing is just flawless. I honestly think Charlotte Perkins Gilman is my new favorite short-story author, ever. Her unique ideas and effortless writing, is really something. I mean, she literally has me feeling sorry for the characters in under 10 pages -- that's talent.Overall, this is brilliant! I'll come back to this later and write a proper review when I have more time. For now, I highly recommend YOU (whoever might be reading this) read The Yellow Wallpaper, because that's honestly the best short-story I've read all year!

  • Mary
    2019-06-14 06:42

    I read this short story a few months ago on someone's recommendation when I said that the tile design at a hotel was driving me insane. In retrospect, the tile was fine.

  • Fiona
    2019-06-14 04:31

    Inspired. Chilling. Alarmingly realistic. Witty. Devastating. Dark. Empowering. Radical. Outstanding. Classic.Although I read and reviewed the novella Herland during the autumn of last year it was indeed the title story in this collection which led me to the literary door of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I am not really very sure whether I would have prefered to have read these works first. I was beginning to feel a little ashamed at just how long The Yellow Wallpaper had been decorating my bookcase and so turned my attention towards the collection earlier this week since I was looking for a swift yet enriching read. My slender Dover Thrift edition of The Yellow Wallpaper contains seven short stories: The Yellow Wallpaper Three Thanksgivings The Cottagette Turned Making a Change If I Were a Man Mr. Peebles' Heart'The Yellow Wallpaper' is certainly her masterpiece, however I adore and admire each of these stories, I covet the tone and texture and the complex layers of each distinctive narrative. The symbolism in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is enthralling, horrifying, sublime; such a short, short story that when I had finished it I actually returned to page one and immersed myself into this terrifying yet oh-so-true tale of psychological ill-health all over again. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's unorthodox utopian feminism is brilliantly demonstrated in this collection. She explores the concept of 'madness', dips into some alternate realities, challenges gendered identities and through a feminist lens she raises questions and creatively explores issues of class and power. Charming tales. Intelligent literature. Highly recommended.

  • Punya Gupta
    2019-06-07 06:25

    The Yellow Wallpaper is a chilling and brilliant short story of 6000 words by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.Written in 1892 it is one of the first pieces of feminist literature available.The story chronicles the descent of a woman into madness after she's kept under house arrest by her husband given her early signs of depression and anxiety.This book was written in a conservative era where in women were not allowed to read and write and voice their opinions.What's really thought provoking and disturbing is that Gilman's work is as relevant today as it was then.The Yellow Wallpaper is hands down the best short story I've ever read.A must read if you are a woman. Or not.

  • Bailey
    2019-05-31 01:43

    I first read the Yellow Wallpaper as a moderately young person, when I was more concerned with being a young quasi-socialite than actually dissecting literature to learn something about how to best live my life as an intelligent person. I thought of school as the time between weekends, and the class-to-class routine as an overly respite for afternoon fun. I found, upon re-reading, that this story can teach me about how we can choose our own perception. Somewhere between moving into the former children's nursery for better air circulation and being called 'my little pet' as a term of endearment, our dear protagonist developed a case of 'the nerves' that meant she can't keep reality and dream separate. Much like my desire (still!) to live for the weekends, our narrator lives for the darkness, when her newfound reality comes alive and tantalizes her senses. The night time, and the curiosity surrounding what was hidden in the wallpaper gave her an outlet for her imagination where her daytime identity would not. During the day, she despised that paper as much as she was fascinated at night. This woman was suffering before she arrived at this country home because she had no mode of expression!! I find it interesting how women, in general, can have love-hate relationships with so much in their lives- their hips, mothers, tan lines, career opportunities, our intelligence- and so often we direct that loathing towards ourselves and become unable to progress towards our better selves. The same facets of our lives that we agonize over and dwell on endlessly will command our attention as soon as our guard is down. This book encapsulates that compulsion to me. Rather than deny that attention during the waking hours, I seek fulfill the urge to follow my heart, regardless of the time of day. I am trying to learn, from this story, that rather than carry on like a stifled corseted housewife in a Victorian attic, I should seek to be full of wanderlust, curiosity and expression all the time, not only during the weekends.

  • Lori
    2019-06-22 22:35

    Like anyone who's ever taken a Womens' Studies course, I read The Yellow Wallpaper for a class. I felt completely insane during the time I was reading it. Then I came across "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, and she says this "But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper. It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked."This is a powerful piece of work, but not a comfortable read. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, however.

  • Val
    2019-06-15 00:36

    This is one of my favorite (long) short stories to teach in high school. Though my Monday book reviews normally focus on full-length books, this short story is a great work to study as a horror writer. Gilman wrote the story as a result of her own mental breakdown. It was written in the late 1800′s when things like depression and postpartum depression were not understood. A popular cure was known as “the rest cure.” Women were given a strict schedule, mostly consisting of rest away from family and familiar surroundings, but also containing a detailed schedule of food and drink, rest, mild activities. Even the women’s sexual activities were sometimes scheduled and enforced.Gilman wrote this story to show the world that “the rest cure” was actually doing more damage than good. In the story, a woman slowly loses her mind while forced to spend three months in a house that her husband (a doctor) rented to allow her sufficient rest to overcome her mental ailments. During her time in the house, the woman is denied visits to family, mental or physical stimulation, and the freedom to discuss her feelings.The most spooky, captivating, and awesome element of the story is its first-person point of view. The narrator is writing the account in her journal, something she must do only when no one else is around. Her journal begins with descriptions of mundane trivialities, but it becomes increasingly more disturbing. The narrator is locked in the nursery on the top floor of the house. The room’s most distinguishing feature is its yellow wallpaper, which features a dizzyingly-horrendous pattern. In the wallpaper, the narrator begins to see manifestations of her own self—a woman trapped and trying to get out.From a writer’s point of view, Gilman’s use of first-person point of view can be used to study the building of suspense. Gilman provided just enough details for us to put together the pieces of the narrator’s growing madness (and its causes) without over-explaining and thus ruining the suspense. Gilman packs this short story with content, and I suggest reading it more than once—after learning the ending, you’ll pick up more and more details each time.A final interesting note: Gilman admitted to writing the story for the purpose of informing the world of the dangers of “the rest cure.” In her day, she received evidence that she had saved at least one woman’s life as a result of the story, and at least one doctor modified his treatment after reading her story. It just goes to show the power of words, and the reason I continue to write.

  • Amy Neftzger
    2019-06-22 02:50

    This is a short but well written literary piece in which a woman goes insane. The woman has been prescribed a cure of doing nothing (complete rest). What I really like about this story is that you can't really tell if the woman was ill to begin with or if the "cure" actually caused the insanity. There are also a number of themes woven into this story, such as that of creativity vs rationality (she's a writer and her husband is a physician) as well as the theme of the domestic role as a prison (demonstrated through the yellow wallpaper). I know I would probably go crazy doing nothing all the time, but it might not be quite so literary or as entertaining to read.

  • Bruce
    2019-06-03 22:44

    The first person narrator of this story describes the “vacation” house as haunted, queer, and seems delighted to find it so. Heightening the intensity of the narrative, she tells the story in the present tense. Her husband John is a rationalist, a physician, who does not believe his wife is sick but has a nervous condition. The narrator seems resigned to his disbelief: “But what can one do?” The narrator presents herself as a child, is treated like one and views herself as one. She seems to be in a prison, and her husband is her jailor. But all this is said circumspectly, as if for her own good as, even as she believes that his advice is erroneous, she defers to his judgment. The situation is one of complete infantilization and passive compliance, the narrator apparently having no will of her own. Not only is she given no freedom, she justifies her restrictions even as she chafes against them. Her bedroom in the new house, pointedly, is the nursery; consistent with her restrictions, it has barred windows and rings and “things” on the walls. The wallpaper is hideous, lurid orange and sickly sulphur, worn and torn and repugnant. She spends no time with her baby - it makes her too nervous. Has she a post-partum depression? She is apparently kept sequestered much of the time in her room, rarely going out, and her thoughts keep returning to the hideous wallpaper that she thinks contains eyes and malevolent figures. She increasingly perseverates on it, seeing more and more details, the figures becoming more and more ominous and distinct. Seeing a woman in the pattern, behind bars, shaking the bars to try to get out, she also sees the same woman from her window, creeping around the grounds of the house and hiding in the bushes. And the narrator confesses that she herself has begun creeping around her room during the daytime. Finally, she begins surreptitiously and then frantically to peel the wallpaper off the walls. The denouement is as horrible as it is predictable.It this an exploration of the subservient position of women at the time it was written, in 1892? Is it simply a description of the descent into madness? An indictment of the treatment at the time of psychotic depression? An allegory regarding a feminist struggle for freedom and autonomy? What a disturbing and haunting story, very effectively told.

  • Courtnie
    2019-05-31 01:25

    Oh, my. Oh, my. oh my oh my oh my oh my. I've never been so happy to get out of someone's head. This was almost brutal in it's relentless descent. Quite a feat for a mere 45 pages. “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.”There is a lot to be said with the treatment of the narrator by her husband, though I didn't find his behavior malicious as much as I felt he was the perfect example of the attitude of the time. Still, damage unwittingly done can be just as horrifying as damage purposefully inflicted.What gutted me was the knowledge, the sure knowledge, of how many women suffered postpartum depression before it had name, well before someone even cared enough to figure it out, and how many today suffer in silence. Having experienced just the trials of a newborn without the added hardship and overwhelming guilt, I was left horribly sad.“It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight."Couple that with the slithering invasiveness of insanity and it was all a little too much. I really had to concentrate on reading the words because my mind kept trying to skip, skip, skip."The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight." I had planned this read for my "Locked Room Mystery" square. I'm not sure it will remain there, I might find a 'truer' locked room mystery to replace it...

  • Nikki Nielsen
    2019-06-24 06:29

    This is a story written in the 1800's by a woman thought to have a 'nervous condition', surely all in her head. She desperately longs to write but her husband and doctor forbid it. This story is compiled of the journal entries she sneaks while they aren't watching. She is told to put being sick right out of her head. She is in a room with dreadful yellow wallpaper that she studies night and day, until she sees things that aren't really there. She begs her husband to take her away and is told to just get some rest. Okay so this was a tiny bit depressing but I loved it anyway. Sadly, although this book was written so many decades ago, there are still people today that insist women need to *snap* out of postpartum depression! I have been lucky enough to have only a small taste of it (thanks largely to a supportive husband and my mom being there for me 24/7 as long as I needed her) but the taste I did get left an awful bile taste in my brain and I sympathize with the poor women that get it so bad they can't enjoy their babies.

  • Madeline
    2019-06-05 01:45

    Creepy as hell, but a really, really cool description of madness. I read this for a high school English class (advanced placement, thank you verra much), and we spent an entire class period discussing the ending and what the hell happened. I'm still not really sure - the best explanation I could think of was that the narrator hung herself, but that doesn't seem to really explain everything. Must re-read someday. Read for: 12th grade AP English

  • Melissa
    2019-06-17 23:33

    Dark short story about the decent into madness, and being set in the early 1900's quite a feminist critique of the times too. After all when your male relatives, knowing better than you what's best for your wellbeing, can force exactly the wrong remedies on you, it's no wonder that a perfectly sane person couldn't be driven insane.

  • Linda Collings
    2019-06-06 23:29

    This writer was ahead of her time !!Loved all these stories.

  • LeeAnne
    2019-06-27 06:42

    The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman This is my favorite short story. It is a creepy and disturbing account of one woman's descent into terrifying madness. The descriptions are very graphic and vivid; especially the one's of the wallpaper, which are clues to the reader about what is really going on in the story. The story is presented as a collection of journal entries written by a woman who is suffering from what we now know is postpartum depression. The woman's husband is a physician and he treats his wife's illness by confining and isolating her to a barron attic bedroom of a rural manor house he has rented for the summer. You see, women can't be trusted to make decisions or fend for themselves. They must be strictly supervised and given detailed instructions of what to do, and not to do, all day long. The windows of the attic room have bars on them, the wood floor is scraped, the yellow wallpaper is torn and there are strange metal rings hanging from the room's wall. There is a locked gate across the top of the stairs, only her husband can control her access in and out of her jail cell. The woman is forbidden from doing anything intellectual or stimulating: no reading, no writing, no sewing, and apparently no thinking, so she is forced to hide her diary from him. Her isolation and confinement begins to eat away at her mental state. With nothing to stimulate her, she becomes obsessed by the torn yellow wallpaper in her room- it's color, patterns and shapes. The wallpaper descriptions represent a mould into which all proper women are supposed to conform; because this woman is unable to adapt and fit into the box of what a woman should be, she is locked up in a prison until she descends into madness and becomes a lunatic. The end result is bone-chilling and brilliant.

  • Sam
    2019-06-03 03:50

    I have heard so much about Gilman's writing, especially about the Yellow Wallpaper, so I was a little concerned that this may have ruined the impact somehow. But my concerns were unfounded. Each of the seven stories in this collection is not only superbly written but is easy to read, despite their age and brings the characters to life in such a way that you feel you are there with them, watching their every move.The Yellow Wallpaper is disturbing and horrific in its portrayal of a woman being pushed towards and over the edge of madness by a husband and brother who are adamant that they know best (evidently they don't). Three Thanksgivings is a brilliant story that shows that even in the most refined and quiet lady there is a strength of character that no man can undermine (I cheered at the end of this one). The Cottagette is an intriguing story where all is not what it seems, or more importantly who they seem while Turned is a stark reminder of the consequences of having power over another and how this can ultimately bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Making a Change tells of how women can really help each other and how men can't always grasp what it is women need to be happy and content (and no children alone don't do this). I loved If I were a man as it shows how women could and can change things when they put their minds to it and how many of the barriers faced are not due to anything of substance but due to assumptions and discriminations. And finally there was Mr. Peebles' heart which shows that men as well as women face many pressures (actual and perceived) that affect their happiness and contentment.

  • Safae
    2019-05-30 03:27

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I've learned form wiki that charlotte committed suicide after finding out she had cancer , and that she had a lot of periods of depression especially after giving birth just like in this book , so the resemblance is there because this story is a semi autobiography of the author this story is basically happening in one specific room , the narrator had initially insisted on taking the room downstairs but her husband was persistent on taking the one upstairs ,which made her stuck in a room she hated with nothing to look at but a random and ugly wallpaper.the woman start coming down to the road of insanity little by little , progressing in a way so obvious for us readers but so normal in her mind.It took me a while to figure out the ending, but after reading it over and over again i was amazed by the simplicity and the beauty of it.Mostly this novel was about the lack understanding , how much this woman suffered silently because whenever she spoke of what she had , her illness was underestimated by her husband and her brother , they told her that the only thing she needed was rest and forbade her of writing while it was the only comforting thing she could do.

  • Becky
    2019-06-22 23:30

    It is such a great shame that this book is largely focused on in middle school, and not at higher levels. It is truly such a complex and horrifying short story, and I just don’t think that nuances could be fully appreciated by a thirteen year old. It is simply one of the best works of feminist literature out there. It is hard to believe that medicine was truly practiced in such a barbaric manner not that long ago. We’ve done sensory deprivation studies on soldiers, and that is akin to what was normal “mental health” practices of only a hundred years ago. One could not help but to go sickeningly crazy when not allowed the exercise any sort of mental faculty. I shudder just to think about it! The story will take you maybe an hour to read, tops, and I think it’s such an important story that I absolutely encourage you to do so. The emotional affect that it had one me, and its lasting impression, is what gives it a 5 star despite its short length. Sometimes you don’t need a whole lot of words to make your point. It is also important to mention that this story is autobiographical.