The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Published: 1892
The Yellow Wallpaper Synopsis
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a haunting short story that delves into the deteriorating mental state of the protagonist, a woman suffering from postpartum depression. The story is presented in the form of her diary entries, chronicling her growing obsession with the patterned wallpaper in her bedroom. Confined by her husband's prescribed "rest cure," she descends into a surreal world of paranoia and delusion. The yellow wallpaper becomes a symbol of her captivity and the oppressive expectations of women in the 19th century. The narrative explores themes of gender roles, mental health, and the impact of societal constraints on individual identity. As the protagonist's grip on reality unravels, "The Yellow Wallpaper" serves as a chilling commentary on the intersection of gender and mental illness, inviting readers to contemplate the devastating consequences of societal control and the importance of autonomy and self-expression.
Excerpt from The Yellow Wallpaper Online Book
It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer.
A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate!
Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.
Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?
About Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American author, lecturer, and early feminist best known for her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper". She was born in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. Throughout her life she wrote about the oppressive lives of women, advocating for gender equality.
Much of Gilman's writing dealt with the struggles women faced during the 19th century when they had few rights and little control over their own lives. Her most famous work is "The Yellow Wallpaper", a short story which depicts a woman who is confined to a bedroom by her husband and doctor. The story has been interpreted as both an exploration of gendered power dynamics and a critique of traditional roles assigned to women at that time. Gilman was also active in various social reform movements such as birth control advocacy, labor organization, and pacifism. Find out more about Charlotte Perkins Gilman at sevenov.com.