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Thursday, June 16, 2011

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Book Review: The Yellow Wallpaper; Charlotte Perkins Gilman

genre } classics | short stories | literature
rating } 18 yr +
date released } 1997
edition } Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (70 p.)
ISBN } 0486298574 | 978-0486298573
acquisition } Free for Kindle download
available @
Book Depository | Amazon.com

The Yellow WallpaperThe Yellow Wallpaper
by; Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Summary;
The unnamed narrator and her doctor husband, John, live in "a colonial mansion, a hereditary estate..." She believes the house is haunted. "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that." She believes she is ill but her husband, and her brother, also a physician, say it is only "temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency..." They insist on "phosphates or phosphites - whichever it is - and tonics" and absolutely forbid work until she is well again. She believes "Personally...that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. Personally, I disagree with their ideas. But what is one to do? 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." She is confined to rest in a room she hates with wallpaper she finds hideously ugly: "The color is repellent, almost revolting: a smoldering unclean yellow... dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others." It is in this room that she writes her secret journal that is this story. She struggles to believe in her husband and brother's "kindness" and "care" while, with terrifying starkness, she narrates her journey into madness.

My 2 Cents
Wow.. what an intense book. I ended this book with the feeling of floored, awe, amazed, confuse and some what empowered. yes it’s an insight monologue literature of a “nervous condition” in her head, and obviously throughout the story she is descending into madness. I was also kind off creep out witnessing her describing her madness how she saw things in a different light. Seeing things the rest can’t see. She is preoccupied by that yellow wallpaper in her bedroom where her husband confines her through out her “sickness”. Her mind went deeper and deeper, pulling you into the horror of her mind. The end was confusing. It can be interpreted one way or another. I get the impression, she either killed off her husband or she killed herself.

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1 comments:

  1. I read this short story many years ago in college and found it a bit confusing and extremely intense. I should reread and see if I like I better.

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