Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Yellow Wallpaper” as Want to Read:
The Yellow Wallpaper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Yellow Wallpaper

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  93,548 ratings  ·  5,210 reviews
‘It is stripped off - the paper - in great patches . . . The colour is repellent . . . In the places where it isn’t faded and where the sun is just so - I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about . . .’

Based on the author’s own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the
...more
Kindle Edition, Short story, 63 pages
Published October 4th 2009 by Public Domain Books (first published January 10th 1892)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Yellow Wallpaper, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Vanita Bodke
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Elizabeth Its also available for download and to read online on project Gutenberg which you can access down under as well.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  93,548 ratings  ·  5,210 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Yellow Wallpaper
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gothic, horror
”If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression---a slight hysterical tendency---what is one to do?”

Well, one must quit being a silly goose and get better.

The baby is fine; thank goodness, the baby is fine. It is safe, safe in another room. Away from the horrid yellow wallpaper. This wallpaper is an artistic monstrosity, an assault on the senses. It is so yellow it reeks of..
...more
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?
This may not be a ghost story, but it is a tale of horror just the same. The most frightening books do not make me cower underneath my covers in the dark. They give the feeling of despair, they make the reader empathize with the darkness and emotional turmoil of the narrator. The
...more
Brina
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in 1892 is considered a story that is a leading feminist view about a woman's place in a traditional marriage during that time period. Gilman herself was an intellectual voice and staunch supporter of women's rights in marriage. Most leading magazines refused to publish this story and it was lost for many years. Once recovered, it has become an often talked about story in many literary anthologies.

The protagonist of this story is taken t
...more
Merphy Napier
Unbelievable. Incredible and compelling story. If it were nothing but a horror, it succeeded. If it were someone's depiction of what her real life reaction was like to a very harmful medical treatment was (which it is), it succeeded. I'll be reading this many times.
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
...more
Cecily

"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go."
Oscar Wilde’s alleged final words.

International Women’s Day is perfect for reviewing this chilling short story, written by a utopian feminist in 1890. (Yes, I opened with Wilde, but I couldn’t resist, and he was also a victim of sexually-related prejudice.)

The Story

John’s wife. Jennie’s sister-in-law. A baby’s mother. She is anonymous. She writes furtively.

She is physically and mentally weak from “tempora
...more
Jaline
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is not a happy story – not even in the slightest. Our protagonist and her husband and sister-in-law are spending 3 months in a rented home during renovations of their own home. The woman recently had a baby and has not been able to recover her energy nor the will to accomplish anything. She is a writer but her husband, a physician, tells her not to write because it will only add to her fanciful state of being.

On the one hand, he is very controlling – and his wife sees that as a display of l
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short but powerful masterpiece in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman offers insight into oppression and madness. It remains (despite being written in 1892) as relevant as it is haunting. Many people know the story of how Gilman's narrator is forbidden to write by her husband/doctor and fights for autonomy in the patterns of wallpaper. Liberation from his and society's oppression of women is only available in this internal struggle which ultimately leads to a mental breakdow ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
The first time I read this 1892 short story, years ago, in a collection of horror stories, I thought awful and very creepy things were really happening to the main character; i.e., weird fungus-growing wallpaper and a weirder lady actually hiding in the wallpaper pattern of a young wife's room in their vacation home. <----- I was a little young and often oblivious to subtext.

On second read (or probably first read for most people ...), it's clear that the horror is of a different sort: the main
...more
Lisa
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try.”

Read in conjunction with Ibsen’s A Doll's House, this short story takes a darker turn than the play, refusing to offer a way out of a dilemma in 19th century traditional society.

The story of a young married woman with an infant, who is patronised and controlled by her husba
...more
Bionic Jean
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short novella from 1892, which has become a classic of the genre. It is a claustrophobic depiction of what would then be described as a woman's descent into madness, but now sounds more like severe post-natal depression. The story consists of passages from a secret journal, kept by the woman, Jane, who is losing her grip on reality. The narrator is confined to the upstairs bedroom of a house by her doctor husband, John, who diagnoses a "temporary nervous depression - a ...more
Jessica
This has got to be one of the most impressive short stories ever written, up there with the very best. Written in the late 1800's, it is surprisingly modern in its form & content. When I was an undergraduate, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an undiscovered writer, but thankfully she's been very much discovered now: I've read her nonfiction ('Women and Economics'--very forward-thinking re: communal kitchens and daycare) and her utopian novel, 'Herland.' She also has some other terrific short stories ...more
Greta G
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clever, eerie little story, which I highly recommend to anyone who thinks that depending on a caring spouse is all you need to be happy. Sometimes it's not, and it even can be harmful ; especially if your wallpaper happens to be yellow.
Elyse  Walters
I debated about saying anything.....but here goes. Many of my favorite people love this book.

I thought this 99 cent book was odd.....even borders on being a horror story....its creepy-weird!!
Plus, right from the start -- I felt like I was reading a laundry list-- I was being talked 'at'. I found it irritating.

This is actually one of those books I wish I didn't read. I didn't like how I felt --and I don't think the book was 'that' worthy that I needed to feel so yucky after.

Read other reviews
...more
Bradley
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a desire to understand how they're trapped by life.
I was reminded of this little piece by a fellow reviewer and while I read it way back in college, several things still stick in my mind.

First, the prevalent psychology of Freud during the time-period: This novel portrays the kind of circular thinking that could happen to anyone in that particular time and station. Any person of a protected, apparently weak, and especially underclass station could find the confines so stifling that it might break their mind. Of course, this isn't to say that eve
...more
Lynn
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I typed the title into the search just to see if it would come up. I had no idea that this was a classic work. I never could recall the author's name, but from the reviews, I can see that I am not alone in how it still sits with me decades later.

I was only 13 or 14 years old when I sat in on my aunt's college literature class. I sat in the back, and the teacher gave me a black and white copy of the text so I could read along with the class. I remember the debate raged on in the class, but we re
...more
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars
“It does not do to trust people too much.”


Wow!

I was stuck in traffic, so I started this audio book--and an hour later when I finally pulled in my driveway, this was me:

description

Not sure what I expected, but this ended up a fascinating look at mental illness and women’s ‘hysteria.’

Taking place at the end of the 19th century, the story is written as woman's secret journal. She’s married to a physician who has his own treatment plans regarding her depression, or as he refers to it her “nervous
...more
Khush
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice story.
Dem
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature.

The yellow Wallpaper is written as a series of diary entries from the perspective of a woman who is suffering(by what information we are given) from postpartum depression.

I found this one extremely well written and creepy for a story written in 1892 and it was heartbreaking how
...more
Vanessa
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After seeing two recent reviews from two reviewers I respect and getting different perspectives with complete opposing views made me want to pick up this short novella, at 64 pages long it was not much of a stretch to fit it into my day! I'm so glad I picked it up, it really is a peculiar story. It captures a real horror of a woman trapped by her nervous disposition as she describes her condition, you really get a real sense of dread at her fixation with the yellow wallpaper in the room where sh ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
A story on how some well-meant intentions can have the worst possible consequences.

What I didn't like here was the too sinuous structure of the plot - we see a lot of raving, some fantasies and a bit of reflection of real life. Still, we have no background on anything and this book could have a lot of different twists hidden from us. Due to this it read a bit weird: some gal going crazy about wallpapers supposedly doing sneaky stuff, some guy forbidding his supposedly healthy wife any sort of s
...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is an extremely eerie and haunting story of a woman being depressed and not properly helped by her husband and other so called expert in a male dominated society. She begins to see patterns and faces within the wallpaper. The colour yellow is very important here. Does the confinement to that room has any positive impact on her health? Is there a cure for this woman and more important does the story end well? You really should give remarkable story a read. It's definitely worth more than one ...more
mark monday
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-classic
There are so many insightful reviews already out there that analyze this absorbing 1892 short story; I fear I have nothing new to add...

Gilman's perfectly sustained masterpiece is a treasure trove and there are many things to contemplate: its proto-feminism and sharp, sharp commentary on how "good men" such as husbands and brothers - and their female allies - strive to keep women passive; its ingenious first person narrative featuring an increasingly unhinged and very unreliable narrator; its d
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This is my second read of this story, and I gave it four stars this time. It's a very well-written story. Ms. Gilmore crafted this tale in such a way that you feel as twisted as the narrator does. It's clear that mental illness plays a major role in the mindset of the narrator. But, there is a little shred of doubt (at least in my mind) that there might be some otherworldly component. It's hard to tell, because we are seeing things through her perceptions, which are clearly not rational.

I think
...more
Calista
In my 9th grade English class we watched the movie of this short story in class, but we never read it. It has been on my list to read for years. I was intrigued by the movie and thought it was interesting. When I found how it was a short story, I decided it was time to read this.

I haven’t read Charlotte’s work before and she has beautiful prose. For a short story, it’s very powerful. This wall paper and how it comes to dominate her thoughts are amazing. This woman is depressed and her husband re
...more
Rae Meadows
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I have much to add about this story from 1892, but I had never read it and was glad to finally do so. It is an incredibly sad story of a woman's descent into mental illness hastened by a rest cure imposed by her physician husband. There are different layers, one being an early feminist critique of women's subjectivity in a marriage, through the story of a woman whose agency has been taken away by her husband. There are a couple of eerie mentions of a baby in another room taken care ...more
L A i N E Y
The final five minutes of this audiobook, I went “yeah that sounds about right”. And I meant that in a non sarcastic way possible.

This is probably the most believable gothic story I have read. That is also a sincere opinion.

Just that it was such a trippy ride and only the matter of time as to when she would snap and when she did, it was just the most natural thing in the world at that point.



Listened @ Horrorbabble
leynes
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
MY SKIN IS CLEAR.
MY CROPS ARE WATERED.
MY BILLS ARE PAID.


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
...more
Sara
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow, this is a powerful short-story that makes quite a statement about insanity, the need of a woman to have choices and independence, and the unintentional cruelties of those who fail to listen or acknowledge another's suffering. I was stunned by how much Gilman managed to say in so few pages.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Lottery
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Story of an Hour
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • A Rose for Emily
  • Hills Like White Elephants
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find
  • The Monkey's Paw
  • The Most Dangerous Game
  • Desiree's Baby
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • A White Heron
  • The Raven
  • Field's Gate
  • The Veldt
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Rumaan Alam began writing Leave the World Behind with a series of tweets on a secret Twitter account he started two years ago.   The book that...
2 likes · 1 comments
“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.” 79 likes
“It does not do to trust people too much.” 54 likes
More quotes…