Nicole Green's Reviews > The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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Aug 11, 12

Read in October, 2011

This is my absolute favourite short story. Especially with my recent bout of mental health issues, I feel that I can really connect with the main character as she descends into this madness. Not only is she going through postpartum psychosis, but her husband who is a professional doctor, thinks that she is just going through hysteria. During the time of it's writing, hysteria was thought to be a "female issue," closely related to "that time of the month." The only remedy was fresh air, exercise, and lounging around all day doing nothing taxing at all, even writing was frowned upon.

Also, knowing that the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was a huge activist for feminism and women's rights, the feminist themes of her story stand out quite sharply against the background. As I mentioned before, she knows something is wrong with her, but she and her family and her friends have to rely on the opinion of a licensed physician (all of which are men). Of course they're going to automatically think that what the main character is going through is hysteria and not something more serious.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I first read it when I was 15 years old and it has stuck with me ever since. Please pick this up and read it.
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