Book Review: The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman


Title: The Yellow Wall-Paper

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 64

Release Date: January 1892

Publisher: The New England Magazine

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

Diagnosed by her physician husband with a “temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” after the birth of her child, a woman is urged to rest for the summer in an old colonial mansion. Forbidden from doing work of any kind, she spends her days in the house’s former nursery, with its barred windows, scratched floor, and peeling yellow wallpaper.

In a private journal, the woman records her growing obsession with the “horrid” wallpaper. Its strange pattern mutates in the moonlight, revealing what appears to be a human figure in the design. With nothing else to occupy her mind, the woman resolves to unlock the mystery of the wallpaper. Her quest, however, leads not to the truth, but into the darkest depths of madness.

A condemnation of the patriarchy, The Yellow Wallpaper explores with terrifying economy the oppression, grave misunderstanding, and willful dismissal of women in late nineteenth-century society.


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Its hard for me to believe that something this creepy was published in 1892...

The thought of a hole book based on yellow wall-paper seems to be a boring concept, this book was far from that. It slowly took the reader from a place of sadness to a complete mental breakdown, mind shattering insanity even. All wrapped around this god awful wall-paper as the catalyst Well, also women's mental health being brushed under the rug...

My favorite part of the whole story came right at the end when the woman in the wall-paper broke free, consuming the poor woman, becoming her. 

Favorite Quote:

"What is the matter?" he cried. "For God's sake, what are you doing!" I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder. "I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!"

I gave this story 5 out of 5 stars. I loved the slow creep into insanity. The ending was almost a battle cry for women to break free, be themselves, never go back.

Although a short read, definitely worthy of the paper its printed on. Wouldn't recommend the movie though.

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