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The Yellow Wall-Paper

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,338 ratings  ·  428 reviews
'The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.'

Written with barely controlled fury after she was confined to her room for 'nerves' and forbidden to write, Gilman's pioneering feminist horror story scandalized nineteenth-century readers with its portrayal of a woman who loses her mind because she has literally noth
Paperback, Little Black Classics #42, 64 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin (first published 1892)
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Sean Barrs
Here follows the diary of a moronic Victorian husband.

>Three days before treatment:

I’ve got a great idea. My wife is suffering from low mood. So I, being an extremely practical Victorian man, have decided that the best solution for the problem is to restrain her in the house. This is clearly a brilliant idea. Our marriage simply doesn’t restrain her faculties enough.

It makes sense you see. I got the idea from the prestigious Dr. Silas Mitchell. He describing what he calls his "rest cure" for
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it

These moments are rare but reading Charlotte's short stories actually restored my faith in humanity. I'm still shook. I haven't read much feminist literature but I can already tell that I have been missing out. Hot damn. This woman gets it. I can't wrap my head around the fact that she was born in 1860 and managed to write these three little gems which are still so relevant up to this day.

The first story The Yellow Wall-Paper explores the
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
2020 The Reading Rush day 4: Read a book that starts with the word “The”.

★★★ /5
Sadly I didn‘t like as much as I thought I would. It's still a good read but my expectations were too high.
Stacey (prettybooks)
This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I discovered it while browsing Penguin's Little Black Classics. I've always been interested in mental illness and discussions about mental illness – including taking two 'Madness and Society' courses at university – and so it seemed like a great one to try out. I bought it alongside The Old Nurse's Story .

WHY I Chose to Read It
I wanted to read an 'old' classic in April and because I've been quite a slow reader thi
Dannii Elle
First read: 2014, Rating: 5 stars
Second read: August 2016, Rating: 5 stars

This is one of my all time favourite stories, and rereading it served to remind me why!

The haunting and chilling tale is told so profoundly, evocatively and beautifully in such a short number of words and every time I read this, I am transported into the tale: I become the haunted and unnamed female protagonist and the unsettling effect of the novels permeates into my own reality. Her demise into madness becomes my own.

Sarah Churchill
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I'd heard the name of this story thrown around a few times in the context of scary classics, so when I saw the LBC version I picked it up.

I'm not sure I'd call it a horror story, more a horrifying story for feminists; the rapid downward spiral of an intelligent woman literally oppressed into madness. It's so very creepy, and a fantastic story both of its time and before its time.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This contains 'The Yellow Wall-Paper', 'The Rocking Chair' and 'Old Water'.

'The Yellow Wall-Paper' is well known and a classic piece of feminist writing. It had been on my to-read list for ages, so that's partly why I got this LBC. It didn't disappoint me either, although it's very obvious what it's trying to do and what the theme of it is. I just loved it, I loved the slow spiraling into madness, I loved the eerie tone, I loved the claustrophobic feel. I loved the barely concealed rage and indi
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Now why should that man have fainted? But he did,and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!

Surprisingly, I ended up liking this story so much more than I thought I would. I had to read it for uni, and I always feel iffy about those reads, and I usually don't enjoy them as much I enjoy reading books I pick up myself. But this one was a huge surprise.

This is a story about an unreliable narrator, and throughout the story we see how she slowly descending into m
"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 Wall-Paper"


Vol N° 42 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set. This book contains three of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short stories.

Included were:

1. "The Yellow Wall-Paper" - ★★★★★
2. "The Rocking-Chair" - ★★★★
3. "Old Water" - ★★★★

"The Yellow Wall-Paper" is one of those stories I've been familiar with for decades, but never read. It is one of the
I first read (and loved) The Yellow Wallpaper during my short fiction class at university!!!
This was my first time re-reading it in a non-academic setting, and it was equally if not more amazing than the first time!

This collection also has The Rocking Chair and Old Water which is also found incredibly groundbreaking and thought provoking!!! These stories oppose the typical "fair maiden comes to a tragic death" trope, (which is found in almost every Shakespeare play...although I love them) and h
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was great to come back to this short story, which I last read in high school. So clever and sinister, and brings up a variety of topics such as feminism, manipulation and mental illness. I also thoroughly enjoyed the other two stories in this book - both were surprisingly dark and morbid, two things I love! I'll definitely have to pick up a full collection of Gilman's stories. ...more
Joey Woolfardis
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
The Yellow Wall-Paper: Curious, curious, curious. Some kind of Post-Natal Depression with 18th Century cures. Touches at the very heart of what depression feels like with its wall-paper detestation that turns almost in to adoration. Not entirely sure how I feel about it, or what it was I just read.

The Rocking-Chair: Another curious one, this time a ghost story from a male perspective. Intriguing like a Poe but not at all fright-inducing, more just a bit odd. Never been a fan of hauntings and thi
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This Little Black Classic turned out to be quite a surprise!

When I bought this book, I thought I was going to read feminist stories. What I actually got, were feminist psychological horror stories. Bundled in this little book are 3 of the 200 short-stories that Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote, and among them is her most famous one, "The Yellow Wallpaper".

This story blew me away. The mood and the setting is completely different from the other 'Victorian' stories that I've read this year. No sweet
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The famous short story 'The Yellow Wall-Paper' I've read before: of my own accord a while ago, and again more recently as part of a course I was studying. Reading it again when I bought this volume - part of the Penguin Little Black Classics series - made me see things in it that I'd missed the first time and even the second. Not doing a close reading of it was actually beneficial, and I got more of a sense of the gothic elements and satire contained within it.

This edition also contains two mor
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genuinely chilling at times. Pretty convincing portrayal of accelerating madness, and I think Hideo Nakata may well have read this at some point.
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a reread for me and now I fully remember why I loved it so much in university ❤️
Sep 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was a 42 minute audiobook and I needed something quick to listen to. I didn't like it, and to be quite honest I didn't get it. I get the concept, I understand what people have taken it to mean, but I didn't get the same things from it. ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Marvelously creepy! I've read “The Yellow Wall-Paper” before, but the other two stories in this little book, No. 42 in the Penguin Little Black Classics set, were new to me. The title story is the longest, tracing a fragile woman's descent into madness and subversive, chilling rebellion against her husband and the oppressive society he represents. The story is interesting partly because, while the general idea is clear, various details can be interpreted in a number of ways, offering the possibi ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
A terrifying read, The Yellow Wallpaper is a short-story that every feminist should have on their to-read list.
3.5 ★★★: an interesting collection of three ghost and feminist short stories
«I used to lie awake as a child and get more entertainment and terror out of blank walls and plain furniture than most children could fin in a toy-store.»

Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)
Read for the Reading Women Challenge (2) A book about a woman with a mental illness

This edition holds three stories: The Yellow Wall-Paper (3 ★★★), The Rocking-Chair (4 ★★★★) and Old Water (3 ★★★).

I probably went into th
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had a fight with family. Someone said something very authoritative and it drove me mad. I was upset for a while but I didn't want to sulk about. Instead, I started reading The Yellow Wallpaper. Midway through my reading I put it down and wrote in my journal. I read my previous entry and found it made me feel much better. I had already found a way to deal with issues such as these, I just forgot about it during my outburst. Why did I get so angry? I checked the calendar. Ah, it's near that time ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good lord, that was some fine writing. Ms. Gilman knows how to write and I feel all the better for it, having read the title story without any pre-conceived ideas or knowledge of her. A story of madness and horror that made me happy that I read it walking along in the sunshine... Magnificent! Having found that she had written this after a bout of depression made it all the more frightning and sad, but none the less a fine wordsmith who can bring such a story so vividly to life. While the other t ...more
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Yellow Wall-Paper is a feminist story, focusing on how women were deemed insane by their husbands for being depressed, as well as exploring the gender roles of women in the 19th century. This review is of course an over-simplification, there are more themes to be explored that will take me forever to explain. I believe this is required reading for every feminist scholar.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Quick read and quite good. Of the three stories, my favourite was The Yellow Wall-Paper. Probably because it was the longest and had the most satisfying build up. Old Water also had a really excellent conclusion. I didn't mind The Rocking Chair but it did not hold my attention in the same way as the other two. ...more
Michelle Curie
"But I MUST say what I feel and think in some way — it is such a relief! But the effort is getting to be greater than the relief."

It's been a while since a story has made my skin crawl as much as The Yellow Wall-Paper has. Damn. And to add insult to injury, this gothic story is semi-autobiographical, based on the treatment her first husband gave her.

So Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born in the 1860s and led a life that inspired many women that followed her generation, being unafraid to call
This was one of my favorite books in the collection, again from a writer - Charlotte Perkins Gilman - whom I had never heard of before.

It is a chilling tale of a woman who, by her doctor husband who believes she is hysteric, is prescribed rest. As the time goes on, she is denied more and more activities until she in fact actually becomes mad from utter, utter boredom.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this story and writing, and would certainly recommend it.

~Little Black Classics #42~
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ylenia by: Booktube
The Yellow Wall-Paper: 3.5 stars.
The Rocking-Chair 4 stars.
Old Water 3 stars.
Smitha Murthy
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A feminist classic, I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this. But well, always a time for the right book to land in your lap. Gilman was a trailblazer for her times and ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ is autobiographical. I read this and the Gothic horror reminded me of Poe in its nightmarish depiction of the human psyche.

Compelling read, especially if you care for women’s rights.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I remember reading some crazy awesome reviews about The Yellow Wall-Paper a few years ago, talking about its beautiful writing, important message, and general amazingness. HAHA OK, no.

There were good parts. There were bad parts. (I am a philosopher and I am profound, yes.)

• The book was so short that "book" isn’t the right word
• Not like I’m complaining: short is good. Short is nice and friendly and rainbowy and I'm a fan.
• What was that ending
• I mean WHAT ???
• The writing was actually really p
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woah, that was surreal.

I think The Yellow Wall-Paper was my least favourite, and that's probably because I had unrealistic expectations. While it didn't literally hypnotise me like I'd half expected it would, it was still an extremely compelling short story and it left me shook. They all did.

The Rocking Chair was my favourite. Ironically, I have the least to say about that. It speaks for itself really.

Old Water was different to the others, and initially I wasn't that impressed. And then the end
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman, also known as Charlotte Perkins Stetson, was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, 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 li ...more

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