The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, written in the late 1800s. The plot revolves around a woman who is suffering from postpartum depression and is prescribed a “rest cure” by her physician husband.
As she spends more time locked in a room with old yellow wallpaper, she becomes increasingly obsessed with the pattern and starts seeing a woman trapped behind the wallpaper. It becomes her mission to liberate the trapped woman.
The story explores gender roles, mental health, and the oppressive nature of societal expectations. Through our protagonist’s descent into madness, Gilman highlights the detrimental effects of patriarchal society on women’s mental and emotional well-being.
It left me wide-eyed and feeling uneasy as I closed the book and spent the rest of the day thinking about the poor woman in the yellow room.
I am glad my case is not serious! But these nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing. John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him.Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow WallPaper
If you’re giving The Yellow Wallpaper as a gift, here are a few things to consider:
The vibes are mysterious, unnerving, tense, and reflective with a fast pace.
It’s the perfect book for anyone who needs a quick read if they’re in a pinch and trying to reach a reading goal. It’s also great for readers of early American feminist literature and for those who enjoy gothic horror.
Permission to judge a book by its cover!
This second edition cover from Burnside Rare Books has the best depiction of the story’s yellow wallpaper that I’ve seen. It’s easy to see how the protagonist becomes obsessed with the pattern and believes someone to be trapped between the layers.
*The Yellow Wallpaper fulfilled my POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt for a book with a color in the title.