The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - click to see full size image

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The Yellow Wallpaper is a 6,000-word 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 for it's portrayal of how women's health (both physical and mental) were perceived in the 19th century. Written as a collection of journal entries, the story details the narrator's descent into madness. Her husband has rented a mansion for the summer. A physician, he has forbidden his wife from working or writing whilst she recovers from depression. She offers up many suggestions that might help her, such as exercising and socialising, but she is dismissed as not able to offer ideas on her own condition. Alone in the upstairs nursery, our narrator becomes fixated on the wallpaper in the room, describing in detail it's colour, smell, and pattern. Eventually, she begins to see a figure in the design, and comes to believe that there is a woman behind it; a woman who, like her, was confined there against her will.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman said that the idea for the story came from her own experience as a patient who suffered years of depression. Like Jane in the book, she had been prescribed a 'rest' from work, and was only allowed 2 hours of mental stimulation a day.

This book has 13 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1892.

Production notes: This ebook of The Yellow Wallpaper was published by Global Grey ebooks on the 4th February 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'The Young Model' by Federico Zandomeneghi.

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