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The Yellow Wallpaper

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❶Gilman was a perfect revolutionary. You probably didn't hear the words "psychological treatment" and think "Oooh, oooh:

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View all 25 comments. The story of a young married woman with an infant, who is patronised and controlled by her husband to the point of losing her sanity, is creepy, relevant, and not dated at all. Two mindsets and worldviews clash. He keeps her under surveillance, and she is asked to sleep and rest as much as possible, avoiding any kind of activity that can spark independent thoughts.

The yellow wallpaper in her room becomes an obsessive symbol for the intellectual oppression the young woman experiences. It increasingly chokes her, until she lets go of her resistance and loses her sanity along with her hope to ever be able to live up to the limited version of life her prison guard is willing to grant her.

Her description of the yellow wallpaper is a mirror of her internal suffering, the contraction she feels and cannot solve. And it is an ominous sign of the only way she sees out of her hopeless dependency on a man who does not see her as a thinking human being, but rather as a decorative piece of furniture in his possession: Whether or not Oscar Wilde spoke those words, he died just a couple of years after the publication of this short story, a broken man after years in prison which destroyed his spirit and will to create.

He too was a victim of a dominant heterosexual, male society, which could accept no exceptions to their preferred way of living: The room, supervised by "benevolent" authority, turns into a dystopian scenario in the spirit of Orwell. Thoughtcrime and doublethink were well-known to intelligent, captive women long before "" named them properly. Still readable, enjoyable, and thought-provoking!

View all 31 comments. The first time I read this short story, years ago, in a collection of horror stories, I thought awful and very creepy things were really happening to the main character; i. On second read or probably first read for most people It's still quite creepy, but in a very different way. There's a distinct layer of early feminism in this story, as well as a strong implication that the main character might have been able to work through her mental problems if she'd been allowed to do something interesting and productive rather than being pressured and forced into idleness.

Apparently this kind of enforced rest and confinement was a standard medical treatment at the time, especially for women, who were deemed the more fragile sex. The author, Charlotte Gillman, felt strongly that this kind of treatment was counter-productive to mental health, rather than a cure.

This makes a nice companion read to The Tell-Tale Heart , another classic but very different story of mental illness. View all 20 comments. Aug 17, Jaline rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is not a happy story — not even in the slightest. Our protagonist and her husband and sister-in-law are spending 3 months in a rented home during renovations of their own home.

The woman recently had a baby and has not been able to recover her energy nor the will to accomplish anything. She is a writer but her husband, a physician, tells her not to write because it will only add to her fanciful state of being.

On the one hand, he is very controlling — and his wife sees that as a display of l This is not a happy story — not even in the slightest. On the one hand, he is very controlling — and his wife sees that as a display of love. Their bedroom has yellow wallpaper which she becomes fixated on. It becomes an obsession, and the more she sees, the more we can see that she is on a slippery slope with no-one to pull her back. This sad story of a psychological breakdown spirals from low energy and spirits into a very dark place in its few pages.

It serves as a cautionary tale because when asked, she insisted she was fine except for being tired. View all 73 comments. Jun 03, Jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: This has got to be one of the most impressive short stories ever written, up there with the very best. When I was an undergraduate, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an undiscovered writer, but thankfully she's been very much discovered now: I've read her nonfiction 'Women and Economics'--very forward-thinking re: None is as famous as "The Yellow Wallpaper," however.

What's great about this story is that I've found it reprinted in horror anthologies, women's fiction anthologies, college readers, texts on madness It's a masterful example of an unreliable narrator and a woman's descent into madness. Don't want to spoil it by saying any more, if you haven't already read this great short story. View all 9 comments. Apr 24, J. The Yellow Wallpaper is a short but powerful masterpiece in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman offers insight into oppression and madness.

It remains despite being written in as relevant as it is haunting. Liberation from his and society's oppression of women is only available in this internal struggle which ultimately leads to a mental breakdow The Yellow Wallpaper is a short but powerful masterpiece in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman offers insight into oppression and madness.

Liberation from his and society's oppression of women is only available in this internal struggle which ultimately leads to a mental breakdown and loss of identity. View all 3 comments. The Yellow Wallpaper is a short novella from , which has become a classic of the genre.

It is a claustrophobic depiction of what would then be described as a woman's descent into madness, but now sounds more like severe post-natal depression. The story consists of passages from a secret journal, kept by the woman, Jane, who is losing her grip on reality. The narrator is confined to the upstairs bedroom of a house by her doctor husband, John, who diagnoses a "temporary nervous depression - a The Yellow Wallpaper is a short novella from , which has become a classic of the genre.

The narrator is confined to the upstairs bedroom of a house by her doctor husband, John, who diagnoses a "temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency -". The windows of the room are barred, and there is a gate across the top of the stairs so that she has limited access to the rest of the house.

She is also forbidden from working by her husband, whom she claims to comply with because he is a doctor. It is not difficult to see how these constraints would exacerbate any tendency to depression! This story depicts the prevailing attitudes in the 19th century toward women, in particular their physical and mental health, promoting the view that they should live and be defined entirely by domestic considerations.

Jane's husband is kindly and insufferably paternalistic, ""Bless her little heart! Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an author, philosopher, socialist and feminist. Her stories both analyse and criticise the role of women in society, at a time when men were very much dominant. The contemporary view is that such women were oppressed by their position in a patriarchal society. In several of her later stories Gilman deals with a male-dominated medical establishment attempting to silence its women patients.

In this one the narrator expresses the views that she should work instead of rest, and that she should go out in society more, instead of remaining isolated. She also thinks that she should not be separated and "protected" from her child, but should be able to see her child and allowed to be a mother. This is a modern perspective, and very much ahead of its time. True to the current conventions of behaviour though, Jane is silent, powerless, and passive, accepting her doctor-husband's authority in all things.

It was stated by a medical journal of the time, that a physician must "assume a tone of authority" and that the idea of a "cured" woman was one who became "subdued, docile, silent, and above all subject to the will and voice of the physician. This makes for a very unsettling read. One interpretation could be that since she has been forbidden to read or write, the given medical reason being that her "hysteria" needs "rest", she then starts to "read" the wallpaper, and feels increasingly trapped behind it.

She first describes the wallpaper saying, "the colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. At night she is able to see a woman behind bars, trapped within its complicated design. The ending is ambiguous, depending on how the reader has interpreted the story. Does she slip into irrevocable psychosis? Does she murder her husband?

Clearly though, this story is about disempowering women, even to the point of forbidding the tools for writing, in case "Jane" manages to express her own identity in that way. The bars and trapped woman are originally symbolic of the narrator's own confinement, but eventually she becomes subsumed in the many images of women that she sees.

The Yellow Wallpaper originated in Gilman's own experience, when she suffered from depression, and was ordered to lead a similar life to that of the narrator of this story. An eminent specialist prescribed a rest cure, recommending her to live a domestic a life as possible.

She was only allowed two hours of mental stimulation a day, and writing materials were banned. She followed this directive for three months, becoming increasingly desperate. Eventually she felt herself slipping into a worse mental state, so rebelled and wrote The Yellow Wallpaper as a sort of therapy for herself, as well as alerting the public to what she considered a seriously misguided form of treatment.

She said the story was, "not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked. Aug 18, Elyse rated it it was ok. I debated about saying anything Many of my favorite people love this book. I thought this 99 cent book was odd Plus, right from the start -- I felt like I was reading a laundry list-- I was being talked 'at'.

I found it irritating. This is actually one of those books I wish I didn't read. I didn't like how I felt --and I don't think the book was 'that' worthy that I needed to feel so yucky after. Read other reviews I debated about saying anything Read other reviews --or just spend the 99 cents to discover for yourself-- most readers appreciated this book!!!

My comments are simply based on my feelings and reaction. View all 18 comments. Mar 13, Greta rated it it was amazing Shelves: Clever, eerie little story, which I highly recommend to anyone who thinks that depending on a caring spouse is all you need to be happy.

Sometimes it's not, and it even can be harmful ; especially if your wallpaper happens to be yellow. View all 21 comments. Jun 16, Bradley rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone with a desire to understand how they're trapped by life. I was reminded of this little piece by a fellow reviewer and while I read it way back in college, several things still stick in my mind.

First, the prevalent psychology of Freud during the time-period: This novel portrays the kind of circular thinking that could happen to anyone in that particular time and station. Any person of a protected, apparently weak, and especially underclass station could find the confines so stifling that it might break their mind.

Of course, this isn't to say that ever I was reminded of this little piece by a fellow reviewer and while I read it way back in college, several things still stick in my mind. Of course, this isn't to say that every woman had it this bad, or that they had weak minds. I'm just saying that Freud pointed out something that was happening during this time-period and all of a sudden he gets catapulted into prominence for stating the blinding obvious.

Going crazy was an escape. This led to the arrival of hoards of writers, revolutionaries, men and women of all walks of life all deciding that they'd show how much they weren't influenced by Freud. There was the huge push to make things equal between the sexes. Hell, I think that part was very healthy. Gilman was a perfect revolutionary. She showed us how insane a person could get being put into that society, under those social rules and regulations, and even made her character sympathetic.

This is one of those works where it is so much more satisfying to read when we understand where it came from. It's even worse when we understand that this was pretty much a regular part of the times. And then, there's Oscar Wilde. He had a speech on his deathbed perhaps apocryphal , where he saw the ugly purple wallpaper on the wall next to his deathbed and made a pronouncement, "Either this wallpaper goes, or I go!

Was this a commentary? Perhaps it was a slight twist and turn in medium, a hidden knife, a big idea slammed by wit. But then, I'm only a man, but I'm proud to say that this story sent me on a long kick of feminism literature back in college.

I'm sorry to see that the whole subject is so out of vogue. The backlash backlashed and backlashed again briefly and backlashed until I'm hella unsure where the pendulum has landed. I'm pleased to see it still lives a bit in SF and Fantasy, but but the rest of the genres seem to backsliding more often than they get it right. I mean, what the hell is a Romance novel, except a means to pigeonhole women into a narrowly confined role and teach them to stare at the pretty wallpaper?

Some YA novels feature nothing but abusive and truly creep-the-fuck-out characters. Where the hell is the lost ideal of equality between the sexes? All I see these days is frustrated sexual fantasies that rely more on power plays than love. Someone, please let me know where I can get some relief!

Anyway, I always liked this story, and it allowed me to flex my imagination and enjoy the surrealism of the literature of the day in a way a little more accessible than others of the type that I just couldn't get into as much.

It was still a mindfuq, and put into perspective, I think the novelette gave a great deal of meaning to women.

People's perceptions of themselves change over time, obviously, reacting to past mistakes, past preconceptions, but as a cross-gender analysis, I have to say that no one is completely free of the wallpaper. Anyone can be caught up in their social roles.

I know I've felt as trapped as our crazy protagonist. It's not just women who have needed to gain a measure of self-awareness. We all need to say, "Enough is Enough, Already! View all 19 comments. Jan 03, Lynn rated it it was amazing Shelves: I typed the title into the search just to see if it would come up. I had no idea that this was a classic work. I never could recall the author's name, but from the reviews, I can see that I am not alone in how it still sits with me decades later.

I was only 13 or 14 years old when I sat in on my aunt's college literature class. I sat in the back, and the teacher gave me a black and white copy of the text so I could read along with the class. I remember the debate raged on in the class, but we re I typed the title into the search just to see if it would come up. I remember the debate raged on in the class, but we read very little there. Later that night, while everyone was asleep, I read the whole story alone in our dark attic apartment.

It wasn't that I scared easy or that I was too young for the story, it was just so intense, so real, I guess I thought it was so possible I looked at everything different from then on. I thought anywhere could be a jail and anyone your jailer. I knew I could see patterns in the sky, in the dark, if you closed and opened your eyes rapidly, in markings on the floor, in the terrible paneling on our walls, but I would never mention this to anyone, least I never am let out again.

View all 8 comments. I was stuck in traffic, so I started this audio book--and an hour later when I finally pulled in my driveway, this was me: As she slowly became more and more obsessed with the wallpaper of her vacation home, she also became less committed to writing her ideas. It was also shockingly sad to see her fears completely dismissed by her husband, and her chosen creative outlet writing restricted from her. Overall, I see why this is a feminist staple, and loved the writing style.

It is quite short, but completely immersive and addicting. View all 6 comments. After seeing two recent reviews from two reviewers I respect and getting different perspectives with complete opposing views made me want to pick up this short novella, at 64 pages long it was not much of a stretch to fit it into my day! I'm so glad I picked it up, it really is a peculiar story.

It captures a real horror of a woman trapped by her nervous disposition as she describes her condition, you really get a real sense of dread at her fixation with the yellow wallpaper in the room where sh After seeing two recent reviews from two reviewers I respect and getting different perspectives with complete opposing views made me want to pick up this short novella, at 64 pages long it was not much of a stretch to fit it into my day!

The wallpaper changes colors when it reflects light and emits a distinct odor which the protagonist cannot recognize p.

At night the narrator is able to see a woman behind bars within the complex design of the wallpaper. Lanser argues that the unnamed woman was able to find "a space of text on which she can locate whatever self-projection". Feminists have made a great contribution to the study of literature but, according to Lanser, are falling short because if "we acknowledge the participation of women writers and readers in dominant patterns of thought and social practice then perhaps our own patterns must also be deconstructed if we are to recover meanings still hidden or overlooked.

Cutter discusses how in many of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's works she addresses this "struggle in which a male-dominated medical establishment attempts to silence women. In this time period it was thought that "hysteria" a disease stereotypically more common in women was a result of too much education.

It was understood that women who spent time in college or studying were over-stimulating their brains and consequently leading themselves into states of hysteria. In fact, many of the diseases recognized in women were seen as the result of a lack of self-control or self-rule. Different physicians argued that a physician must "assume a tone of authority" and that the idea of a "cured" woman is one who is "subdued, docile, silent, and above all subject to the will and voice of the physician".

Often women were prescribed bed rest as a form of treatment, which was meant to "tame" them and basically keep them imprisoned. Treatments such as this were a way of ridding women of rebelliousness and forcing them to conform to expected social roles.

In her works Gilman, highlights that the harm caused by these types of treatments for woman i. Paula Treichler explains "In this story diagnosis 'is powerful and public. It is a male voice that. The male voice is the one in which forces controls on the female and decides how she is allowed to perceive and speak about the world around her.

It may be a ghost story. Worse yet, it may not. Lovecraft writes in his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature that "'The Yellow Wall Paper' rises to a classic level in subtly delineating the madness which crawls over a woman dwelling in the hideously papered room where a madwoman was once confined.

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, in her book Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of "The Yellow Wall-Paper" , concludes that "the story was a cri de coeur against [Gilman's first husband, artist Charles Walter] Stetson and the traditional marriage he had demanded. Anglican Archbishop Peter Carnley used the story as a reference and a metaphor for the situation of women in the church in his sermon at the ordination of the first women priests in Australia on 7 March in St George's Cathedral, Perth.

In another interpretation, Sari Edelstein has argued that "The Yellow Wallpaper" is an allegory for Gilman's hatred of the emerging yellow journalism. Having created The Forerunner in November , Gilman made it clear she wished the press to be more insightful and not rely upon exaggerated stories and flashy headlines.

Gilman was often scandalized in the media and resented the sensationalism of the media. The relationship between the narrator and the wallpaper within the story parallels Gilman's relationship to the press. The protagonist describes the wallpaper as having "sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin".

Treichler's article "Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in 'The Yellow Wallpaper'", she places her focus on the relationship portrayed in the short story between women and writing. Rather than write about the feminist themes which view the wallpaper as something along the lines of ". Treichler illustrates that through this discussion of language and writing, in the story Charlotte Perkins Gilman is defying the ".

This is supported in the fact that John, the narrator's husband, does not like his wife to write anything, which is the reason her journal containing the story is kept a secret and thus is known only by the narrator and reader.

A look at the text shows that as the relationship between the narrator and the wallpaper grows stronger, so too does her language in her journal as she begins to increasingly write of her frustration and desperation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New England Magazine. Descent and Return in The Yellow Wallpaper". ProQuest Research Library online, Oct. October 4, , p. Archived from the original on 30 Aug She also thinks back to her childhood, when she was able to work herself into a terror by imagining things in the dark. As she describes the bedroom, which she says must have been a nursery for young children, she points out that the paper is torn off the wall in spots, there are scratches and gouges in the floor, and the furniture is heavy and fixed in place.

As the Fourth of July passes, the narrator reports that her family has just visited, leaving her more tired than ever. John threatens to send her to Weir Mitchell, the real-life physician under whose care Gilman had a nervous breakdown.

The narrator is alone most of the time and says that she has become almost fond of the wallpaper and that attempting to figure out its pattern has become her primary entertainment. As her obsession grows, the sub-pattern of the wallpaper becomes clearer.

Whenever the narrator tries to discuss leaving the house, John makes light of her concerns, effectively silencing her. Each time he does so, her disgusted fascination with the paper grows. At one point, she startles Jennie, who had been touching the wallpaper and who mentions that she had found yellow stains on their clothes.

But she sleeps less and less and is convinced that she can smell the paper all over the house, even outside.

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Yellow Wallpaper. Welcome to the new SparkNotes! dark. As she describes the bedroom, which she says must have been a nursery for young children, she points out that the paper is torn off the wall in spots, there are scratches and gouges in the floor, and the furniture is heavy and.

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is definitely the masterpiece of this collection. If that was the only story that Gilman ever wrote – it would be enough to guarantee her a /5().

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THE YELLOW WALL-PARER. If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER. nence of it and the everlastingness. Up. But the "Yellow Wallpaper" is also famous for its gut-wrenching descriptions of the effects of being holed up and left alone and we live in a world where, as of , an estimated 80,, inmates are held in isolated confinement.

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Two online texts for "The Yellow Wallpaper" are available: the full text of "The Yellow Wall-paper" ( edition), available online at the University of Virginia Library's Electronic Text Center via EDSITEment-reviewed Center for the Liberal Arts, or the original New England Magazine version, available online at the Library of Congress. The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in is considered a story that is a leading feminist view about a woman's place in a traditional marriage during that time period. Gilman herself was an intellectual voice and staunch supporter of women's rights in marriage/5.