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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  58,306 Ratings  ·  1,201 Reviews
Best known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than 200 other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here.
Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include "turned," an ironic story with a startl
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Paperback, Dover Thrift Editions, 70 pages
Published July 11th 1997 by Dover Publications (first published 1892)
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Awakening by Kate Chopin
Best Feminist Fiction
6th out of 1,016 books — 2,181 voters
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8th out of 1,352 books — 1,896 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Apr 10, 2016 Catriona (LittleBookOwl) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Woo, intense!
Shovelmonkey1
Aug 01, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who want a brief taste of madness
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list and danielle23
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Yup, that was me enjoying the spiralling descent into madness.

Ok all jokes aside, mental health is a serious issue and something which is more fragile than we realise - do not take it for granted people. We are lucky enough to live in a time when people recognise and understand depression and constructive, helpful treatments can be offered. Unfortunately for Charlotte Perkins Gilman, she inhabited the tail end of the Victoria
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J.G. Keely
Roland Barthes talked about 'writerly' and 'readerly' books. I've struggled for a long time, myself, in trying to come up for terms to talk about the differences between deliberate works and those which are too bumbling, too one-sided, or too ill-informed to make the reader think.

While The Yellow Wallpaper brings up interesting points, it does not really deal with them. The text has become part of the canon not for the ability of the author, which is on the more stimulating end of middling, but
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 02, 2015 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
*PREFACE TO REVIEW: I have a soft spot for literature about descents into madness. I blame it on my mother taking me to see Lost Highway in the theater at a young and tender age. I also blame this film, to a larger extent, on my fashion sense from then to now. Which is to say, I blame my mom. Who is, in fact, more sane than most.*

Ah, suicide authors! You do know madness so!!! There have been a few times where I have personally thought that I was going off my rocker, but considering that I've yet
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David
Jul 10, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women trapped with Lovecraftian wallpaper, little boys dreaming of butter
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was famous as a 19th century feminist author, and apparently she's taught in a lot of feminist/women's studies courses. I was vaguely interested in her most famous story, The Yellow Wallpaper, so when this collection was an Audible deal of the day, I went ahead and downloaded it.

I'm glad I did. I'll get to the title story in a minute, but I found the other short stories - which were all about a woman being presented with a choice (usually in the form of a man) very reada
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Zaki
Nov 14, 2012 Zaki rated it really liked it
A very sad tale about a woman who stares at her yellow wallpaper and gets so irritated and frustrated, that after a while she rips it off the wall.
Gloria Mundi
This is a short story about a woman's descent into madness and I have just the t-shirt slogan for the protagonist:

EXCUSE ME. I HAVE TO GO AND MAKE A SCENE.

Because that's what I wanted her to do throughout, but we cannot really expect that from a genteel 19th century lady and that is when the story was written. So does that mean that it is now outdated and irrelevant to us emancipated 21st century women?

Personally, I have gone through a period in my life when I took some pretty heavy drugs, staye
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Fiona
Inspired. Chilling. Alarmingly realistic. Witty. Devastating. Dark. Empowering. Radical. Outstanding. Classic.

Although I read and reviewed the novella Herland during the autumn of last year it was indeed the title story in this collection which led me to the literary door of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

I am not really very sure whether I would have prefered to have read these works first. I was beginning to feel a little ashamed at just how long The Yellow Wallpaper had been decorating my bookcase
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Lori
Sep 28, 2007 Lori rated it it was ok
Like anyone who's ever taken a Womens' Studies course, I read The Yellow Wallpaper for a class. I felt completely insane during the time I was reading it.

Then I came across "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, and she says this "But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper. It was not intended to drive people crazy,
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Bailey
Aug 20, 2007 Bailey added it
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks wearing a corset is a good idea.
I first read the Yellow Wallpaper as a moderately young person, when I was more concerned with being a young quasi-socialite than actually dissecting literature to learn something about how to best live my life as an intelligent person. I thought of school as the time between weekends, and the class-to-class routine as an overly respite for afternoon fun. I found, upon re-reading, that this story can teach me about how we can choose our own perception. Somewhere between moving into the former ch ...more
Mary
Dec 22, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
I read this short story a few months ago on someone's recommendation when I said that the tile design at a hotel was driving me insane.

In retrospect, the tile was fine.
Aric Cushing
Feb 03, 2014 Aric Cushing added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
MIDWEST REVIEW: "Editor Aric Cushing's introductory essay 'Is 'The Yellow Wallpaper' a Gothic Story?' nails the subject; especially since the original feminist take on Gilman's works often skated over the gothic feel of her works to focus on underlying feminist interpretations alone. While the work spearheaded a women's movement, its other literary elements were largely overlooked and are corrected here, with a penetrating essay analyzing both its social impact and its literary, gothic mechanism ...more
Val
Jun 10, 2012 Val rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite (long) short stories to teach in high school. Though my Monday book reviews normally focus on full-length books, this short story is a great work to study as a horror writer. Gilman wrote the story as a result of her own mental breakdown. It was written in the late 1800′s when things like depression and postpartum depression were not understood. A popular cure was known as “the rest cure.” Women were given a strict schedule, mostly consisting of rest away from family a ...more
Safae
Oct 11, 2012 Safae rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100, 1001, english
Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I've learned form wiki that charlotte committed suicide after finding out she had cancer , and that she had a lot of periods of depression especially after giving birth just like in this book , so the resemblance is there because this story is a semi autobiography of the author
this story is basically happening in one specific room , the narrator had initially insisted on taking the room downstairs but her husband was persistent on taking the one upstairs ,which made he
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Nikki Nielsen
Apr 15, 2008 Nikki Nielsen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to be educated on the misconceptions of postpartum depression
Recommended to Nikki by: My client left it for me to read while I was house/dog sitting f
This is a story written in the 1800's by a woman thought to have a 'nervous condition', surely all in her head. She desperately longs to write but her husband and doctor forbid it. This story is compiled of the journal entries she sneaks while they aren't watching.

She is told to put being sick right out of her head. She is in a room with dreadful yellow wallpaper that she studies night and day, until she sees things that aren't really there. She begs her husband to take her away and is told to
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Bruce
Nov 30, 2010 Bruce rated it it was amazing
The first person narrator of this story describes the “vacation” house as haunted, queer, and seems delighted to find it so. Heightening the intensity of the narrative, she tells the story in the present tense. Her husband John is a rationalist, a physician, who does not believe his wife is sick but has a nervous condition. The narrator seems resigned to his disbelief: “But what can one do?” The narrator presents herself as a child, is treated like one and views herself as one. She seems to be i ...more
Madeline
Sep 07, 2009 Madeline rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LeeAnne
The Yellow Wallpaper
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


This is my favorite short story. It is a creepy and disturbing account of one woman's descent into terrifying madness. The descriptions are very graphic and vivid; especially the one's of the wallpaper, which are clues to the reader about what is really going on in the story. The story is presented as a collection of journal entries written by a woman who is suffering from what we now know is postpartum depression.



The woman's husband is a physici
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Emily  O
Aug 05, 2011 Emily O rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Emily by: ENG 252 (American Lit Post-1800s)
This story is amazing in every sense of the word. Gilman did a great job with characterization. The narrator has a very distinct voice and feels very real from the beginning. The epistolary format of the story actually helps both with the characterization and with the pacing of the story. Since the narrator's voice is the only voice we get, we get to know her very well. But, the one-sided story also leaves many questions, especially because our narrator is nowhere near reliable. Poe himself coul ...more
Amy Neftzger
Aug 11, 2011 Amy Neftzger rated it it was amazing
This is a short but well written literary piece in which a woman goes insane. The woman has been prescribed a cure of doing nothing (complete rest). What I really like about this story is that you can't really tell if the woman was ill to begin with or if the "cure" actually caused the insanity. There are also a number of themes woven into this story, such as that of creativity vs rationality (she's a writer and her husband is a physician) as well as the theme of the domestic role as a prison (d ...more
Fernanda Romo
Apr 07, 2016 Fernanda Romo rated it really liked it
Sorprendente, me tienen en clase de inglés picada leyendo estas historias que ni se sienten obligatorias.
Kats
This is a late 19th century short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that I've been meaning to read for a number of years. It has been on my GoodReads TBR list since 2011, but learning more about CPG through reading Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick earlier this year really made me want to read some Charlotte Perkins Gilman asap, so I was delighted when my book club chose this short story The Yellow Wallpaper for our next discussion in early November.

With Halloween about to be
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justme
Nov 19, 2008 justme rated it really liked it
A definite classic for any noir fiction fan. This short story follows a woman's descent into madness and also sheds some light on the relationship and treatment of women and illness during that century.

The story is written in first person, in what reads like a personal diary of sorts, by a woman who has been locked up in an old nursery on the top floor of her home by the advice of her doctor husband, who insists that she isn't sick but needs rest and is just being "silly." She starts to become o
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Becky
It is such a great shame that this book is largely focused on in middle school, and not at higher levels. It is truly such a complex and horrifying short story, and I just don’t think that nuances could be fully appreciated by a thirteen year old. It is simply one of the best works of feminist literature out there. It is hard to believe that medicine was truly practiced in such a barbaric manner not that long ago. We’ve done sensory deprivation studies on soldiers, and that is akin to what was ...more
Steven
Jan 03, 2008 Steven rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tweedledum
Aug 28, 2013 Tweedledum rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I only discovered this book because "the yellow wallpaper" is listed in 1001 Books: You Must Read Before You Die. The yellow wallpaper is one of the most scary stories I have ever read and the act that is was written out of CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILLMAN s experience only made it more scary. The rest of the stories are a wonderful mixture and I loved them all.
Alex
Aug 20, 2009 Alex rated it it was amazing
Loved these stories. So grateful to my goodread buddies for introducing me to this amazing feminist writer. She uses irony and humor as well as plain ol' honesty to tell stories of sisterhood and motherhood and marriage that are sadly still common themes and problems today. Perhaps we hide our sexism better one hundred years later but my ability to relate both delighted and unnerved me. Don't just read her most famous short story - the yellow wallpaper - read them all!
Lou
Dec 05, 2011 Lou rated it really liked it
This is a short but unique and different tale written in a very good narrative. It's one of those reads that every reader will go away and try to research and reread for the understanding of it and will still differ on it I think. When reading the story i was finding myself reflecting on the story The Metamorphosis. A creepy short story.
Marija
Apr 23, 2016 Marija rated it really liked it
The Yellow Wallpaper

4/5 stars

The yellow wallpaper is a story of a woman and her descent into madness. She moves into a house where her husband, a doctor, believing his wife is sick puts her to bed rest in a room which has very weird yellow wallpaper. The woman spends every day in that room and gets obsessed with the wallpaper. And the story goes on.
I loved this one and it’s the only one I am going to give a full summary of because it is the reason I read this collection of short stories. The way
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Cheryl apple
Apr 22, 2009 Cheryl apple rated it liked it
This is a story of a woman going mad, it's pretty interesting how she describes her thoughts, mainly about the "yellow wallpaper" that seems to come alive to her! Really a good, quick, read.
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and non fiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today i ...more
More about Charlotte Perkins Gilman...

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“It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” 712 likes
“There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.” 40 likes
More quotes…