The Yellow Wallpaper is a story written in 1899 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, about a woman that goes to a country home for fresh air to cure her depression.
NON SPOILER SUMMARY
John is a physician, and his wife suffers from temporary nervous depression. So he takes her to an old home in the country to allow her plenty of rest and fresh air to cure her. Against her protests, she is confined to her room and not allowed to do any work or anything that could be considered even slightly strenuous. So she sits, and she sleeps, and she stares all day at the ugly yellow wallpaper in the room. Eventually, she sees a woman behind the pattern in the wallpaper. Of course, no one else in the house believes her, and they dismiss her visions to her illness.
This story was written as journal entries by the woman. It was simply fascinating to see her mental state deteriorate each day of her confinement. And who ever thought that wallpaper could be brought to such life? The elaborate descriptions of the patterns and lines of the yellow wallpaper were as entertaining as the rest of the story! This story makes me glad to live in the day of modern medicine.
- Word Count: 6,136
- Page Count: 12
- Published: 1899
- About the Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper after she suffered a severe episode of postpartum depression. Read more about her at Wikipedia.
WHERE TO FIND THIS STORY
- The Yellow Wallpaper was first published in 1899 by Small & Maynard, Boston, MA.
- You can read The Yellow Wallpaper online for free.
- It was also very interesting to read the author’s own explanation of why she wrote the story. Read Gilman’s “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper,” from the October 1913 issue of The Forerunner. (SPOILER WARNING!)