The Yellow Wallpaper

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Published: 1899
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,983 / 26 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 23,926
mnybks.net#: 2860
Origin: gutenberg.org

A journal of the descent into madness of a woman suffering from a ''temporary nervous depression — a slight hysterical tendency.'' Hints throughout the story suggest the woman's problem is the recent birth of her child, insinuating postpartum depression. Confined in an upstairs room to recuperate by her well-meaning but dictatorial and oblivious husband, the yellow wallpaper in the room becomes the focal point of her growing insanity.

Show Excerpt

h easier than a baby, you see.

Of course I never mention it to them any more--I am too wise,--but I keep watch of it all the same.

There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.

Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day.

It is always the same shape, only very numerous.

And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don't like it a bit. I wonder--I begin to think--I wish John would take me away from here!

It is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so.

But I tried it last night.

It was moonlight. The moon shines in all around just as the sun does.

I hate to see it sometimes, it creeps so slowly, and always comes in by one window or another.

John was asleep and I hated to waken him, so I kept still and watched the moonlight on that undulating wall-paper till I felt creepy.

The faint figure behind seemed to sh

Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 6 reviews: *****
2013.07.23
Breeze
*****

Amasing short story about a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Wel written and gives you a good idea how wallpaper can drive you crazy..

2013.07.16
Suspenso
*****

Great short story! Awesome portrait of a woman with a mental illness. The author (Charlotte Perkins Gilman) shows a bit of the dated gender roles of the times. The story is written in a journal kind of way. In general the story is gripping, with slight touches of terror. Really worth a read.

2010.05.09
Leah A. Zeldes
*****

Intensely creepy short story about a woman slowly sinking into madness, encouraged by her husband's overbearingly paternal solicitude.

2009.12.26
Albert
*****

This little story is exceptional. It builds a sense of uncanny terror all the way through, giving you a portrait into a womans descent into madness.

About the only complaint I would make is that the Project Gutenberg preamble took up nearly ten of the twenty two pages in the book. That seems like a waste of space in such a short story.

2009.03.24
Im Cheungjun
*****

The first-person narrative by a woman depicts not only the process of her getting mad but also the existence of a repressive (male-dominated) society. A wonderfully crafted and very disturbing short story.

2006.12.14
Urvi
*****

This short story is set in the mind of a woman trapped in post-partem depression who meets the challenges of desperate women in a society that always renders them disabled.

It is wildly descriptive, creative, and ultimately thought-provoking. While the story is interesting in itself, anyone who enjoys studying writers and the stylistic elements that bring their stories together would enjoy this.


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