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The Yellow Wallpaper

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❶Many literary critics have ignored these short stories.

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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. Each time he does so, her disgusted fascination with the paper grows.

At one point, she startles Jennie, who had been touching the wallpaper and who mentions that she had found yellow stains on their clothes. But she sleeps less and less and is convinced that she can smell the paper all over the house, even outside. She discovers a strange smudge mark on the paper, running all around the room, as if it had been rubbed by someone crawling against the wall. The sub-pattern now clearly resembles a woman who is trying to get out from behind the main pattern.

The narrator sees her shaking the bars at night and creeping around during the day, when the woman is able to escape briefly.

The narrator mentions that she, too, creeps around at times. She suspects that John and Jennie are aware of her obsession, and she resolves to destroy the paper once and for all, peeling much of it off during the night.

The next day she manages to be alone and goes into something of a frenzy, biting and tearing at the paper in order to free the trapped woman, whom she sees struggling from inside the pattern. By the end, the narrator is hopelessly insane, convinced that there are many creeping women around and that she herself has come out of the wallpaper—that she herself is the trapped woman.

A good proportion of her diary entries from the time she gave birth to her daughter until several years later describe the oncoming depression that she was to face. On April 18, , Gilman wrote in her diary that she was very sick with "some brain disease" which brought suffering that cannot be felt by anybody else, to the point that her "mind has given way. After nine weeks, Gilman was sent home with Mitchell's instructions, "Live as domestic a life as possible.

Have your child with you all the time Lie down an hour after each meal. Have but two hours' intellectual life a day. And never touch pen, brush or pencil as long as you live. By early summer the couple had decided that a divorce was necessary for her to regain sanity without affecting the lives of her husband and daughter.

During the summer of , Charlotte and Katharine spent time in Bristol, Rhode Island , away from Walter, and it was there where her depression began to lift. She writes of herself noticing positive changes in her attitude. She returned to Providence in September. She sold property that had been left to her in Connecticut, and went with a friend, Grace Channing, to Pasadena where the cure of her depression can be seen through the transformation of her intellectual life.

Gilman called herself a humanist and believed the domestic environment oppressed women through the patriarchal beliefs upheld by society. Gilman argued that male aggressiveness and maternal roles for women were artificial and no longer necessary for survival in post-prehistoric times.

She wrote, "There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver. Her main argument was that sex and domestic economics went hand in hand; for a woman to survive, she was reliant on her sexual assets to please her husband so that he would financially support his family. From childhood, young girls are forced into a social constraint that prepares them for motherhood by the toys that are marketed to them and the clothes designed for them.

She argued that there should be no difference in the clothes that little girls and boys wear, the toys they play with, or the activities they do, and described tomboys as perfect humans who ran around and used their bodies freely and healthily.

Gilman argued that women's contributions to civilization, throughout history, have been halted because of an androcentric culture. She believed that womankind was the underdeveloped half of humanity, and improvement was necessary to prevent the deterioration of the human race.

In she published Women and Economics , a theoretical treatise which argued, among other things, that women are subjugated by men, that motherhood should not preclude a woman from working outside the home, and that housekeeping, cooking, and child care, would be professionalized.

Gilman became a spokesperson on topics such as women's perspectives on work, dress reform, and family. Housework, she argued, should be equally shared by men and women, and that at an early age women should be encouraged to be independent. Gilman argues that the home should be socially redefined. The home should shift from being an "economic entity" where a married couple live together because of the economic benefit or necessity, to a place where groups of men and groups of women can share in a "peaceful and permanent expression of personal life.

Gilman believed having a comfortable and healthy lifestyle should not be restricted to married couples; all humans need a home that provides these amenities. Gilman suggest that a communal type of housing open to both males and females, consisting of rooms, rooms of suites and houses, should be constructed.

This would allow individuals to live singly and still have companionship and the comforts of a home. Both males and females would be totally economically independent in these living arrangements allowing for marriage to occur without either the male or the female's economic status having to change. The structural arrangement of the home is also redefined by Gilman. She removes the kitchen from the home leaving rooms to be arranged and extended in any form and freeing women from the provision of meals in the home.

The home would become a true personal expression of the individual living in it. Ultimately the restructuring of the home and manner of living will allow individuals, especially women, to become an "integral part of the social structure, in close, direct, permanent connection with the needs and uses of society. How can Race A best and most quickly promote the development of Race B? Gilman also believed old stock Americans of British colonial descent were giving up their country to immigrants who, she said, were diluting the nation's reproductive purity.

Gilman's feminist works often included stances and arguments for reforming the use of domesticated animals. Additionally, in Moving the Mountain Gilman addresses the ills of animal domestication related to inbreeding. In "When I Was a Witch," the narrator witnesses and intervenes in instances of animal use as she travels through New York, liberating work horses, cats, and lapdogs by rendering them "comfortably dead.

One anonymous letter submitted to the Boston Transcript read, "The story could hardly, it would seem, give pleasure to any reader, and to many whose lives have been touched through the dearest ties by this dread disease, it must bring the keenest pain.

To others, whose lives have become a struggle against heredity of mental derangement, such literature contains deadly peril. Should such stories be allowed to pass without severest censure?

Positive reviewers describe it as impressive because it is the most suggestive and graphic account of why women who live monotonous lives are susceptible to mental illness. Although Gilman had gained international fame with the publication of Women and Economics in , by the end of World War I , she seemed out of tune with her times.

In her autobiography she admitted that "unfortunately my views on the sex question do not appeal to the Freudian complex of today, nor are people satisfied with a presentation of religion as a help in our tremendous work of improving this world. Lane writes in Herland and Beyond that "Gilman offered perspectives on major issues of gender with which we still grapple; the origins of women's subjugation, the struggle to achieve both autonomy and intimacy in human relationships; the central role of work as a definition of self; new strategies for rearing and educating future generations to create a humane and nurturing environment.

Gilman published short stories in magazines, newspapers, and many were published in her self-published monthly, The Forerunner.

Many literary critics have ignored these short stories. The majority of Gilman's dramas are inaccessible as they are only available from the originals. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 23 June University Press of Virginia: Retrieved 26 August The Pennsylvania State University Press, ; p.

From Adams to de Beauvoir , section 1 only, Legacy , 24 1 , 72— Lane, To Herland and Beyond , Accessed May 23, She was inspired from Edward Bellamy's utopian socialist romance Looking Backward.

Accessed November 3, Retrieved November 15, Women, Animals, and Oppression". The Pennsylvania State University Press, University of Delaware P, Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame. Martha Minerva Franklin Carolyn M. Mulcahy Martha Parsons Maggie Wilderotter. Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame. Margaret Sanger Sojourner Truth.


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"The Yellow Wallpaper" (original title: "The Yellow Wall-paper. A Story") is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January in The New England Magazine.

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wall-paper" was written during a time of great change. In the early- to mid-nineteenth century, "domestic ideology" positioned American middle class women as the spiritual and moral leaders of their home.

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Cltarlotte Perkins Stetson. T is very seldom wall-paper! At first he meant to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies. THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story Charlotte Perkins Gilman that was first published in

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She is particularly disturbed by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom, with its strange, formless pattern, and describes it as “revolting.” Soon, however, her thoughts are interrupted by John’s approach, and she is forced to stop writing. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, , in Hartford, Connecticut. She published her best-known short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in One of her greatest works of non-fiction, Women and Economics, was published in Born: Jul 03,