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!
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!!
View all 15 comments. 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.
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. 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: 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 Still, this is all rather generalistic and this particular short story could have been developed into a proper novel. John is a physician, and perhaps 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.
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.
This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had! 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. I know well enough that a step like that is improper and might be misconstrued. View all 5 comments. There are so many insightful reviews already out there that analyze this absorbing 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: Oct 19, Rae Meadows rated it really liked it. I'm not sure I have much to add about this story from , 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 , but I had never read it and was glad to finally do so.
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. View all 10 comments. Fans of stories with lots of subtext, classic horror readers. This is my second read of this story, and I gave it four stars this time. It's a very well-written story. 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. 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. 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 Retrieved 30 August Retrieved 1 September Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society.
Archived from the original on A Company of Players. Retrieved 12 October Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. The Omnibus of 20th Century Ghost Stories. Carrol and Graf Publishers Inc. The Yellow Wallpaper ed. Johnson, Greg Fall Rage and Redemption in The Yellow Wallpaper". As the first few weeks of the summer pass, the narrator becomes good at hiding her journal, and thus hiding her true thoughts from John. She mentions that John is worried about her becoming fixated on it, and that he has even refused to repaper the room so as not to give in to her neurotic worries.
She mentions that she enjoys picturing people on the walkways around the house and that John always discourages such fantasies. 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.
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THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER. nence of it and the everlastingness. Up. and down and sideways they crawl, and. those absurd, unblinking eyes are every.
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