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The Yellow Wallpaper (The Original 1892 New England Magazine Edition) - a feminist fiction classic PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Yellow Wallpaper (The Original 1892 New England Magazine Edition) - a feminist fiction classic
Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Publisher: Published August 27th 2013 by e-artnow (first published January 10th 1892)
ISBN: null
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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This carefully crafted ebook: "The Yellow Wallpaper (The Original 1892 New England Magazine Edition) - a feminist fiction classic" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded This carefully crafted ebook: "The Yellow Wallpaper (The Original 1892 New England Magazine Edition) - a feminist fiction classic" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 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. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American feminist, 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.

30 review for The Yellow Wallpaper (The Original 1892 New England Magazine Edition) - a feminist fiction classic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”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---what is one to do?” Well, one must quit being a silly goose and get better. The baby is fine; thank goodness, the baby is fine. It is safe, safe in another room. Away from the horrid yellow wallpaper. This wallpaper is an artistic monstrosity, an assault on the senses. It is so yellow it reeks of.. ”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---what is one to do?” Well, one must quit being a silly goose and get better. The baby is fine; thank goodness, the baby is fine. It is safe, safe in another room. Away from the horrid yellow wallpaper. This wallpaper is an artistic monstrosity, an assault on the senses. It is so yellow it reeks of...yellow. ”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.” In such a room, too, a beautiful room with windows and light. John brought her here for a vacation away from the daily cares of their normal lives, to help her with her nervousness. She hasn’t been the same since the baby was born. She knows that, not that she was ever normal before, but something has shifted, an awareness of self that is tuned to a different frequency. The wallpaper is hideous. It claws at her mind. She should be happy, after all there is the baby. The girl is taking such good care of her baby. ”I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time. Of course I don’t when John is here, or anybody else, but when I am alone.” It doesn’t happen if no one sees it or hears it. In the middle of the night, lit by moonlight, the wallpaper moves. She touches it; she studies it. ”The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.” She must write. They don’t want her to write, but those who write must write. It is not enough to write in the mind. The words must be taken from her mind to make room for more words. Words are precision, clarity, sanity. John thinks it is best for her to rest in the room. The room has become the extent of her universe, and the wallpaper is more alive than she is. ”All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!” If she escapes the wallpaper, what then? I kept thinking as I was reading this story that I hope Robert Louis Stevenson had the chance to read it, but probably not. This story was published in 1892. He bought a place in Samoa in 1890 and was cut off from most of the literary world until his death in 1894. It is certainly a story that would have appealed to his own obsession with the horrors of the mind. The building tension from a fairly typical domestic scene to the final horrors is so gothic and is still sending a cascade of shivers down my spine. Charlotte Perkins Gilman grew up under the tutelage of women who believed strongly in equality. Her father’s aunts, Isabella Beecher Hooker, a suffragist, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Catharine Beecher, helped raise her after her father abandoned the family. Charlotte tried marriage. She even had a baby. Those attempts at being “normal” didn’t work out, but it did give us this wonderful autobiographical and, in my opinion, nearly perfect short story. Charlotte grew up in an era where it was difficult for women to have any say in their fate. If they became too “hysterical,” they were locked up in an insane asylum. They were seen as delicate creatures, incapable of making rational decisions for themselves. I still believe that many women suffer from postpartum depression and still feel the need to hide their symptoms. After all, aren’t they supposed to be joyfully happy to be new mothers? There are too many women still trapped in the walls behind yellow wallpaper. When Charlotte Perkins Gilman finds out she is dying of breast cancer in 1935, she takes control of her fate. In her suicide note she writes that she ”chose chloroform over cancer”. In the end, she escapes the yellow wallpaper on her own terms. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    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—what is one to do? This may not be a ghost story, but it is a tale of horror just the same. The most frightening books do not make me cower underneath my covers in the dark. They give the feeling of despair, they make the reader empathize with the darkness and emotional turmoil of the narrator. They 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—what is one to do? This may not be a ghost story, but it is a tale of horror just the same. The most frightening books do not make me cower underneath my covers in the dark. They give the feeling of despair, they make the reader empathize with the darkness and emotional turmoil of the narrator. They make one feel claustrophobic. Women's mental problems have always been dismissed as hysteria, from the beginning of time. It is this overwhelming diminution of mental problems that led to so many being institutionalized in the past, and it is the reason why the repressed Victorian woman was such a tremendous symbol of the age. That mentally unsound character recurs again in this little short story, an exceptionally fine example of how a woman, neglected, belittled, dismissed, descends into insanity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in 1892 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. Most leading magazines refused to publish this story and it was lost for many years. Once recovered, it has become an often talked about story in many literary anthologies. The protagonist of this story is taken t The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in 1892 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. Most leading magazines refused to publish this story and it was lost for many years. Once recovered, it has become an often talked about story in many literary anthologies. The protagonist of this story is taken to the country to recover from an unnamed illness. Upon finding out that the nurse cares for the baby, one is lead to believe that the illness is postpartum depression, leading to a mental breakdown. The protagonist's husband and brother are both doctors and believe that the country would help lead to her recovery. Both men believe that women are for the most part subservient to men. The husband calls her my girl and lamb, all tender words of affection, denouncing her feelings. As a result, the suffering woman is brought to the country against her better wishes. While in the country, she stays in a room with crumbling, yellow wallpaper. Rather than improving her health, the patterns lead her to a greater state of mental illness. She creates stories out of the supposed paisley design and has delusions that a woman from the paper is out to get her. Before it became decent to speak of mental illness, the best way to gain one's health was through treat and fresh air. In this case, the rest caused the protagonist to suffer greatly, leading to her demise, much like the story's author. The Yellow Wall Paper was not as much of a literary masterpiece but a landmark noting a woman's place in a marriage and what could occur to women following the birth of her children. Gilman's work is now widely studied but denounced upon publication. More than one hundred years later, The Yellow Wall Paper is a worthy study, and a story that leads to invoking discussions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go." Oscar Wilde’s alleged final words. International Women’s Day is perfect for reviewing this chilling short story, written by a utopian feminist in 1890. (Yes, I opened with Wilde, but I couldn’t resist, and he was also a victim of sexually-related prejudice.) The Story John’s wife. Jennie’s sister-in-law. A baby’s mother. She is anonymous. She writes furtively. She is physically and mentally weak from “temporar "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go." Oscar Wilde’s alleged final words. International Women’s Day is perfect for reviewing this chilling short story, written by a utopian feminist in 1890. (Yes, I opened with Wilde, but I couldn’t resist, and he was also a victim of sexually-related prejudice.) The Story John’s wife. Jennie’s sister-in-law. A baby’s mother. She is anonymous. She writes furtively. She is physically and mentally weak from “temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency”. She is confined to rest in an attic room of a rented house, on the advice of her doctor husband. A room with such ghastly yellow wallpaper that it becomes an obsession - exacerbating, rather than alleviating her mental instability. But they’re staying in a hyperbolically “beautiful place” with a “delicious garden”. Everyone is kind and caring and lovely. Her doting, suffocating husband. Her sister-in-law running the house, helping care for her. And Mary, who “is so good with the baby”. It’s clear to the reader that the infantalising constraints and prohibition of mental and physical stimuli are as life-sapping as any leaden cage, despite the shiny padlock. She is cast deeper into the pit of helplessness - her husband addresses her as “little girl”. What’s less certain is the motive of her carers. Is she inherently mad, being manipulated, or just overly-pampered? When she chastises herself, you hear the insidious and undermining words of others: “I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition.” The question is how to get better: compliance, defiance, or psychological escape. The Wall-Paper The descriptions start off comically horrid, but realistic: “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… a smouldering unclean yellow.” As the narrator loses her hold on reality, the patterns seem to morph in sinister but enticing ways, with the changing light. I was reminded of the Magic Eye pictures that were all the rage for a few years in the 1990s, but which I never learned to “see” in 3D. The True Story This is semi-autobiographical, but it wasn’t post-partum psychosis that ended Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s life, nor the frustrations of patriarchal and controlling rest cures. It was not even the breast cancer that tried its damndest. In her own words, she took control and "chose chloroform over cancer". Nowadays With an autocratic misogynist recently elected as the most powerful person in the world, the suppression of women’s autonomy, whether clothed in good intentions or not, is as important an issue as ever. The war for equality is not yet won. Sources, Notes, and Links You can read the story, free, on Project Gutenberg, HERE. For a slightly different, but equally provoking take on a similar situation, see The Victorian Chaise Longue (my review HERE), in which an invalid young mother in 1940s/50s is transported (whether for real, or in her delusions) to the mind and body of a woman with a similar condition, but in earlier, even less enlightened times. Image source for yellow wallpaper: https://static.enotes.com/images/cove... The compulsion to pick and peel one’s skin is called dermatillomania or neurotic excoriation. It is usually considered on the OCD spectrum: a repetitive, ritualistic, and tension reducing form of self-harm. Peeling wall-paper is clearly less harmful to the body, as to the state of mind…?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    Here follows the diary of a moronic Victorian husband. >Three days before treatment: I’ve got a great idea. My wife is suffering from low mood. So I, being an extremely practical Victorian man, have decided that the best solution for the problem is to restrain her in the house. This is clearly a brilliant idea. Our marriage simply doesn’t restrain her faculties enough. It makes sense you see. I got the idea from the prestigious Dr. Silas Mitchell. He describing what he calls his "rest cure" Here follows the diary of a moronic Victorian husband. >Three days before treatment: I’ve got a great idea. My wife is suffering from low mood. So I, being an extremely practical Victorian man, have decided that the best solution for the problem is to restrain her in the house. This is clearly a brilliant idea. Our marriage simply doesn’t restrain her faculties enough. It makes sense you see. I got the idea from the prestigious Dr. Silas Mitchell. He describing what he calls his "rest cure" for hysterical women, wrote, "I do not permit the patient to sit up or to sew or write or read. The only action allowed is that needed to clean the teeth." At the end of six weeks to two months of such treatment, he says the women would be good as new. So I’m going to try this on my wife. Can you not see the sheer intellect behind the idea? This will solve everything just you wait and see. >1 day into treatment: I’ve restricted my wife’s freedom incredibly. I direct her every action for her own safety. She eats what I tell her, when I tell her. And she has to stay in our bedroom all day. This will soon be over; she only has a temporary nervous depression. She babbles on to me about her problems at night. I don’t have time for them. I’m a man you see. So that means respectability and shutting down any sign of emotion. I told her to go to sleep, this will soon be over. >7 days into treatment: I caught my wife writing in a journal. What an impetuous woman she is! Does she not understand that these restrictions are for her own safety? I do this because I must have a trophy wife. In public we must be seen as a successful couple with an air of respectability. She can’t be jotting down such nonsense and expressing her thoughts. I told her to stop. She doesn’t need the distraction. She needs to be well again, for my sake. >14 days into treatment: My wife has taken a turn for the worse. She barely eats and she just sleeps all day. She says she needs a vocation; she needs something to do to pass the time, and test her intellects. What silly notions. What she clearly needs is more restriction. That’s the only way she will get over her aliment. She keeps talking about the wallpaper, says she wants the room decorated because it feels like a prison. She says it reminds her of bars. I cannot be doing with it, I told her to go to sleep. I’ve got man things to do in the morning. >30 days into treatment: My wife has gone mad. I think she will have to be locked away. I entered the room and what I beheld was sheer depravity. Such animalistic behaviour, I passed out. I could not bear the sight. The treatment did not work. I should have restricted her more. She had far too much excitement, locked in the house all day with that extremely entertaining wallpaper. I should have left her in darkness. That would have worked. Note to self- Tell Dr. Silas Mitchell of this discovery. ************************************************************** The truly scary thing about this story is how real it is. This is the rest cure Victorian women were subjected to, and the journal I wrote here is the ridiculous rationale that drove it. The author of this story was actually administered this “cure.” Her own experienced informed her narrator’s perspective. It’s terrible that something like this had to be written to show how stupid these ideas were. This is a very powerful story, and this was a very stupid husband. Penguin Little Black Classic- 42 The Little Black Classic Collection by penguin looks like it contains lots of hidden gems. I couldn’t help it; they looked so good that I went and bought them all. I shall post a short review after reading each one. No doubt it will take me several months to get through all of them! Hopefully I will find some classic authors, from across the ages, that I may not have come across had I not bought this collection.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaline

    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. 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 love. On the other hand, he carries her up the stairs to conserve her energy and tells her to get well quickly because he can’t live without her – and she is unable to respond appropriately. Their bedroom has yellow wallpaper which she becomes fixated on. She describes the pattern and the ‘sick yellow’ of its colour many times, and you can watch her mind grappling with reality the more she talks about the wallpaper. 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. She hid her feelings from her husband and sister-in-law, and what was at first a desire to “put a good face on it” became dangerous deception and deliberate avoidance. Even toward herself. This is an amazing piece of writing and worth reading for the experience of better understanding mental illness and how it can subtly infect all areas of a person’s life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    “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.” Read in conjunction with Ibsen’s A Doll's House, this short story takes a darker turn than the play, refusing to offer a way out of a dilemma in 19th century traditional society. The story of a young married woman with an infant, who is patronised and controlled by her husba “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.” Read in conjunction with Ibsen’s A Doll's House, this short story takes a darker turn than the play, refusing to offer a way out of a dilemma in 19th century traditional society. 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. On one side, there is the “rational husband”, a physician, who calls his wife “little girl” and forces her to passivity, as he claims agitation and stimulation are feeding her imagination in a detrimental way. 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. On the other hand, there is the young woman herself, with a strong wish to express herself creatively in writing, opposing the so-called benevolent dictatorship in secret, hiding her true feelings and thoughts in front of the husband, who is “very caring and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction”. And he “hates to have me write a word”. 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: “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.” The fight she puts up against the symbolical wallpaper makes one remember Oscar Wilde’s alleged last words: “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” Behind the irony and wit, there is a sense of deadly pain in the face of lost beauty and aesthetic value. 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: in full control of all aspects of community, especially creative and sexual practices. A Room of One's Own, so necessary to creative processes according to Virginia Woolf’s idea, turns into a prison if there is no freedom of thought and movement to feed imagination, and no financial independence to be able to make a choice. 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 "1984" named them properly. Still readable, enjoyable, and thought-provoking! Recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    The first time I read this 1892 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.e., weird fungus-growing wallpaper and a weirder lady actually hiding in the wallpaper pattern of a young wife's room in their vacation home. <----- I was a little young and often oblivious to subtext. On second read (or probably first read for most people ...), it's clear that the horror is of a different sort: the ma The first time I read this 1892 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.e., weird fungus-growing wallpaper and a weirder lady actually hiding in the wallpaper pattern of a young wife's room in their vacation home. <----- I was a little young and often oblivious to subtext. On second read (or probably first read for most people ...), it's clear that the horror is of a different sort: the main character, a young wife suffering from anxiety or depression, has been isolated and kept inactive "for her own good," and she is slowly going psychotic. 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. Gutenberg freebie here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This has got to be one of the most impressive short stories ever written, up there with the very best. Written in the late 1800's, it is surprisingly modern in its form & content. 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: communal kitchens and daycare) and her utopian novel, 'Herland.' She also has some other terrific short sto This has got to be one of the most impressive short stories ever written, up there with the very best. Written in the late 1800's, it is surprisingly modern in its form & content. 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: communal kitchens and daycare) and her utopian novel, 'Herland.' She also has some other terrific short stories, "If I Were a Man," for example and a mystery novel. 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. A wife is prescribed bed rest for what appears to be postpartum depression, is confined to a room w/ sickly yellow overly ornate wallpaper...and goes mad from inactivity, lack of meaningful stimulation. Don't want to spoil it by saying any more, if you haven't already read this great short story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    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 1892) as relevant as it is haunting. Many people know the story of how Gilman's narrator is forbidden to write by her husband/doctor and fights for autonomy in the patterns of wallpaper. 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. It remains (despite being written in 1892) as relevant as it is haunting. Many people know the story of how Gilman's narrator is forbidden to write by her husband/doctor and fights for autonomy in the patterns of wallpaper. 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The Yellow Wallpaper is a short novella from 1892, 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 1892, 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 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!" said he with a big hug, "she shall be as sick as she pleases!"" referring to her indulgently as his "little girl". 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." The writing itself uses sentences with short interjections; questions burst through, as the narrator becomes increasingly delirious. 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." It develops into an "optic horror, like a lot of wallowing seaweeds in full chase... interminable grotesques" She yearns for freedom, seeing through her bars to the outside, "A lovely country, too, full of great elms and velvet meadows." She becomes obsessed by the wallpaper, its pattern appearing to change, "all those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!" The colour becomes more and more loathsome to her with a foul smell emanating from it. At night she is able to see a woman behind bars, trapped within its complicated design. "The woman behind shakes it!" The delusions increase, as does Jane's response to them. The ending is ambiguous, depending on how the reader has interpreted the story. Does she escape? 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." Sometimes it is viewed simply as a horror story, but it is horrifying to a modern reader in additional ways to merely its gothic feel. "There are things in that wallpaper that nobody knows but me, or ever will... so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    I debated about saying anything.....but here goes. Many of my favorite people love this book. I thought this 99 cent book was odd.....even borders on being a horror story....its creepy-weird!! 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.....but here goes. Many of my favorite people love this book. I thought this 99 cent book was odd.....even borders on being a horror story....its creepy-weird!! 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 --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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    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. 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 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. Ms. 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!" And so he died. Death by wallpaper. Was this a commentary? Who knows. 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!"

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    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 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 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    María

    Excepcional cuento feminista donde la ALUCINANTE Charlotte muestra el papel opresivo y sumiso que vivían las mujeres burguesas. Cuánto me alegra que haya salido. Arrastrándose sí, pero salido al fin y al cabo. Qué bien sienta la libertad. Además, es una dura crítica al tratamiento psiquiátrico al que ella misma fue sometida y que casi la lleva a la locura. Chapó.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    4 Stars “It does not do to trust people too much.” Wow! 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: Not sure what I expected, but this ended up a fascinating look at mental illness and women’s ‘hysteria.’ Taking place at the end of the 19th century, the story is written as woman's secret journal. She’s married to a physician who has his own treatment plans regarding her depression, or as he refers to it her “nervous di 4 Stars “It does not do to trust people too much.” Wow! 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: Not sure what I expected, but this ended up a fascinating look at mental illness and women’s ‘hysteria.’ Taking place at the end of the 19th century, the story is written as woman's secret journal. She’s married to a physician who has his own treatment plans regarding her depression, or as he refers to it her “nervous disposition.” There was something really terrifying and engrossing about seeing her thoughts gradually shift. 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. I almost wish this had been expanded into a full-length novel, because there's SO MUCH I think would benefit from the elaboration.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    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! 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 she is recovering from some sort of depressive episode. This was really quite an inventive way to display and portray a woman's descent into madness. I'm glad this was a short story as I felt the power of this wallpaper taking hold! What a wonderful story and that ending!! Interesting!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Khush

    What is so striking about this story is its narrative voice. It feels as if someone has just written it. As a reader, I am so impressed by this quality; the world created more than a century ago still resonates with me, it still appears fresh and familiar. The young patient and her physician husband John are like any other present-day upper middle-class couple. When we see them, we know them. On the surface, this couple looks happy and satisfied, but as the story unfolds we know more about their What is so striking about this story is its narrative voice. It feels as if someone has just written it. As a reader, I am so impressed by this quality; the world created more than a century ago still resonates with me, it still appears fresh and familiar. The young patient and her physician husband John are like any other present-day upper middle-class couple. When we see them, we know them. On the surface, this couple looks happy and satisfied, but as the story unfolds we know more about their relationship. Even though John seems caring and concerned toward his wife; something is queer about his care. His wife feels being reduced to her severe nervous depression, her medical condition. She is only her disease, the rest of her is ignored. The good husband always tells her what she should do and what not. For instance, she loves writing journals, but she is forbidden to do so. She waits for him to leave the house so that she can write. John's sister Jennie also comes to stay with them and help them. So everyone around her in the name of love and care restricts her; she does not matter much but her cancer does. The disease takes over the person. Her husband John shows his affection and love in every possible way, but he does not really listen to her. Throughout the story, she tells herself how good and loving John is. Her disease, the well regulated mundane interest of her husband make her emotionally more aloof and damaged. She is drawn to the yellow wallpaper on the wall of her airy bedroom. This yellow wallpaper absorbs her completely; by its unique, sprawling flamboyant patterns. She talks and engages with the wallpaper, especially, because everyone around her has things to do. She becomes more and more consumed by these ever mobile, hideous patterns on the yellow wallpaper. At times, she gives a hint of what bothers her apart from her bodily pain, it is her husband's lack of concern, his true presence. He stays away from her due to his work, and sometimes for days on end. Even when they share the same bed, he is oblivious to what is happening inside her. John and his sister also take a strange turn in her mind. She imagines weird, incestuous things in regard to John and his sister. She spies on them, and at one point she even has a minor tiff with Jennie. These layered responses to her disease, possibly cancer though this is not mentioned in the story, intersect with deeper issues of love and human relationships.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    A story on how some well-meant intentions can have the worst possible consequences. What I didn't like here was the too sinuous structure of the plot - we see a lot of raving, some fantasies and a bit of reflection of real life. Still, we have no background on anything and this book could have a lot of different twists hidden from us. Due to this it read a bit weird: some gal going crazy about wallpapers supposedly doing sneaky stuff, some guy forbidding his supposedly healthy wife any sort of s A story on how some well-meant intentions can have the worst possible consequences. What I didn't like here was the too sinuous structure of the plot - we see a lot of raving, some fantasies and a bit of reflection of real life. Still, we have no background on anything and this book could have a lot of different twists hidden from us. Due to this it read a bit weird: some gal going crazy about wallpapers supposedly doing sneaky stuff, some guy forbidding his supposedly healthy wife any sort of social interaction apart from the domestic kind, any work, any entertainment - why? The question begs: why does this woman have to take 'phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics' if her Doctor husband 'assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression'? I do appreciate that this structure lets the reader to come to their own conclusions, still I don't like it. Yes, this incolves a lot of things to ponder about roles, pressure and interaction in family and rules and obedience and medical vagaries and psychological maladies treatment... lots of stuff. Still, this is all rather generalistic and this particular short story could have been developed into a proper novel. Q: John is a physician, and perhaps... perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster. (c) Q: I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal—having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition. (c) Q: He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction. I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day... It is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so.(c) Q: This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had! (c) Q: I am getting angry enough to do something desperate. To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try. Besides I wouldn’t do it. Of course not. I know well enough that a step like that is improper and might be misconstrued. (c)

  21. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    There are so many insightful reviews already out there that analyze this absorbing 1892 short story; I fear I have nothing new to add... Gilman's perfectly sustained masterpiece is a treasure trove and there are many things to contemplate: its proto-feminism and sharp, sharp commentary on how "good men" such as husbands and brothers - and their female allies - strive to keep women passive; its ingenious first person narrative featuring an increasingly unhinged and very unreliable narrator; its d There are so many insightful reviews already out there that analyze this absorbing 1892 short story; I fear I have nothing new to add... Gilman's perfectly sustained masterpiece is a treasure trove and there are many things to contemplate: its proto-feminism and sharp, sharp commentary on how "good men" such as husbands and brothers - and their female allies - strive to keep women passive; its ingenious first person narrative featuring an increasingly unhinged and very unreliable narrator; its delicate balance between psychological portrait of a descent into madness and eerie supernatural horror set in the confines of a beautiful estate and a disturbingly ugly nursery transformed into our heroine's bedroom - infantilization literalized; its critical examination of so-called "female hysteria"... ...so I'm just going to point out my favorite part of the story: its phenomenal use of the word creeping! can you imagine what a person looks like when they are literally "creeping" about? it's an er creepy image! our heroine describing women who have come from the wallpaper now creeping about on the garden paths was deliciously creepy. our heroine eventually describing herself creeping about her room inspecting the wallpaper's patterns was chilling. and the final scene, when her husband breaks down the door only to find her "creeping" about, promptly faints (I would too), and our heroine has to "creep" over his prone body to continue her examination of the wallpaper... oh my God.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rae Meadows

    I'm not sure I have much to add about this story from 1892, but I had never read it and was glad to finally do so. It is an incredibly sad story of a woman's descent into mental illness hastened by a rest cure imposed by her physician husband. There are different layers, one being an early feminist critique of women's subjectivity in a marriage, through the story of a woman whose agency has been taken away by her husband. There are a couple of eerie mentions of a baby in another room taken care I'm not sure I have much to add about this story from 1892, but I had never read it and was glad to finally do so. It is an incredibly sad story of a woman's descent into mental illness hastened by a rest cure imposed by her physician husband. There are different layers, one being an early feminist critique of women's subjectivity in a marriage, through the story of a woman whose agency has been taken away by her husband. There are a couple of eerie mentions of a baby in another room taken care of by someone else (her child though she doesn't say it), which might signal postpartum depression. The woman narrating the story in a secret journal has a breathless, flightiness to her voice which seems all the sadder as she is consumed by the yellow wallpaper in her room, by the life she imagines the patterns have taken on. She becomes both more languid in her dealings with her husband and more manic in her journal, her voice infused with a shrill, unnerving energy. She sees women creeping about behind the wallpaper until she has pulled it all off and creeps around her room, having lost the tether to reality. It's a short and worthwhile read, as is Gilman's biography included.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    This is my second read of this story, and I gave it four stars this time. It's a very well-written story. Ms. Gilmore crafted this tale in such a way that you feel as twisted as the narrator does. It's clear that mental illness plays a major role in the mindset of the narrator. But, there is a little shred of doubt (at least in my mind) that there might be some otherworldly component. It's hard to tell, because we are seeing things through her perceptions, which are clearly not rational. I think This is my second read of this story, and I gave it four stars this time. It's a very well-written story. Ms. Gilmore crafted this tale in such a way that you feel as twisted as the narrator does. It's clear that mental illness plays a major role in the mindset of the narrator. But, there is a little shred of doubt (at least in my mind) that there might be some otherworldly component. It's hard to tell, because we are seeing things through her perceptions, which are clearly not rational. I think there is a powerful message here. Husbands often had way too much control over their wives. Probably still the case. The husband in this story treated his wife like she was a child. He dismissed her thoughts and needs, and constantly told her what was best for her. He didn't treat her like a partner. I think that his treatment of her played a role in her deterioration. I read about the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, on Wikipedia. She was a feminist who crusaded to help women in the time period in which she lived. I could see how she masterfully threaded some real-life themes into this story. It would give any reader something to think about, and I imagine it made a few people, particularly men, angry at the time in which it was published. This is considered a feminist work. I don't think that you have to be a feminist to appreciate this message. As an egalitarian, I definitely felt this message. I felt sympathy for this woman. I think that she felt caged in and didn't have her needs met, and something inside of her twisted until she left sanity behind. It's quite a sad thing that the people who loved her contributed by their gentle neglect. If she had been listened to, and really heard, maybe things would have gone differently. This is just my perception of this story. No doubt, a different reader will glean a dissimilar meaning from this work. In my opinion, The Yellow Wallpaper is a story that should be read more than one time. I feel I encountered more subtext and layers upon the second read. I'll keep it on my Kindle, because it's one I would like to revisit.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Wow, this is a powerful short-story that makes quite a statement about insanity, the need of a woman to have choices and independence, and the unintentional cruelties of those who fail to listen or acknowledge another's suffering. I was stunned by how much Gilman managed to say in so few pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    ’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. I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breadths didn't match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other.’ Man, that yellow wal ’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. I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breadths didn't match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other.’ Man, that yellow wallpaper has some nerve. Sure, the woman was obviously going insane prior to moving to this house with that vicious yellow wallpaper but honestly? If that worthless husband of hers would have just changed it when she told him to none of this would have happened. So I blame the husband. And that vicious yellow wallpaper. But honestly? If that shit was on my walls I’d probably go crazy too.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ♛Tash

    Published in the early 1900s, The Yellow Wallpaper is one of the first recognized feminist pieces. It is the story of a woman who is considered to be of delicate disposition and health so she is isolated from everything. In her isolation, she fixates on the crawling headless human shapes she sees in the tattered yellow wallpaper of her bedroom. *shudders* It's easy to see why this is considered to be a feminist piece. It details a very infuriating treatment of a woman who has suffered some sort o Published in the early 1900s, The Yellow Wallpaper is one of the first recognized feminist pieces. It is the story of a woman who is considered to be of delicate disposition and health so she is isolated from everything. In her isolation, she fixates on the crawling headless human shapes she sees in the tattered yellow wallpaper of her bedroom. *shudders* It's easy to see why this is considered to be a feminist piece. It details a very infuriating treatment of a woman who has suffered some sort of breakdown. She is robbed of all, and I mean all stimulus, caring for her child included. At the start of this short story, her narrative is lucid and apologetic because she finds her husband's control ministrations stifling. As the story moves along, we read about the devolution of her narrative. Everyone believed she was crazy, so she must be. It makes one appreciate to be alive in a time when we have full awareness of our rights and better understanding of mental health.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This book stands out in my mind mainly because of an argument I had with our English teacher that lasted the length of an entire English class, over whether or not the room was actually originally a childrens' playroom, or some kind of sinister crazy-wife-locking-up-room. My argument: "She's an unreliable narrator! And why would a children's playroom have weird metal rings on the walls and bars on the windows?" Her argument: "Yes, but she says it's a childrens' playroom." My counter-argument: "BUT This book stands out in my mind mainly because of an argument I had with our English teacher that lasted the length of an entire English class, over whether or not the room was actually originally a childrens' playroom, or some kind of sinister crazy-wife-locking-up-room. My argument: "She's an unreliable narrator! And why would a children's playroom have weird metal rings on the walls and bars on the windows?" Her argument: "Yes, but she says it's a childrens' playroom." My counter-argument: "BUT YOU SAID SHE WAS AN UNRELIABLE NARRATOR!" I remember this incident much better than the book itself -- but I do have a memory of it being rather simple in that AP English kind of way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    First read: 2014, Rating: 5 stars Second read: August 2016, Rating: 5 stars This is one of my all time favourite stories, and rereading it served to remind me why! The haunting and chilling tale is told so profoundly, evocatively and beautifully in such a short number of words and every time I read this, I am transported into the tale: I become the haunted and unnamed female protagonist and the unsettling effect of the novels permeates into my own reality. Her demise into madness becomes my own. Wha First read: 2014, Rating: 5 stars Second read: August 2016, Rating: 5 stars This is one of my all time favourite stories, and rereading it served to remind me why! The haunting and chilling tale is told so profoundly, evocatively and beautifully in such a short number of words and every time I read this, I am transported into the tale: I become the haunted and unnamed female protagonist and the unsettling effect of the novels permeates into my own reality. Her demise into madness becomes my own. What strikes me most about this novel is how it portrays the treatment towards mental maladies and the patients suffering from them. It is such a historically overlooked predicament and is presented as such in this individual case. The protagonist's illness is allowed to manifest and culminate in this Gothic tale so that it feels almost paranormal at its pinnacle. The past treatment of both the female body and the mind are sensitive subjects that are allowed to be dissected in the modern consciousness though historical artifacts such as this. This is a short but powerful masterpiece, in which Perkins Gilman offers a valuable insight into oppression and madness.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    Just like peeling back layers of wall-paper, this concise, succinct and haunting classic has intricate patterns of meaning, which will continue to enthral and capture the imagination and reflection of my mind. This book is also universally relevant today as a poignant exposure of mental health, its surrounding stigmatisation and of inequality.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    This short story written in 1892 is an eerie depiction of a woman's descent into madness. Much has been written about what it means, its bent toward feminism and the role of women during this time period I'm just not very good at literary criticism or looking beyond the story. So, I mean, if you like Stephen King's short stories you have to spend a little time with this story. If you liked Head Full of Ghosts, you need to read this and compare it to some of the descriptions in that book. Mr. Trem This short story written in 1892 is an eerie depiction of a woman's descent into madness. Much has been written about what it means, its bent toward feminism and the role of women during this time period I'm just not very good at literary criticism or looking beyond the story. So, I mean, if you like Stephen King's short stories you have to spend a little time with this story. If you liked Head Full of Ghosts, you need to read this and compare it to some of the descriptions in that book. Mr. Tremblay also pulls a quote from this story into his book. This also reminded me of a bygone era where wallpaper was a thing and how bad it sucks to peel that garbage off the wall. I don't think that was the author's intent, but wallpaper really is (or was) a real pain in the...

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