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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  74,344 ratings  ·  1,778 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 w
Paperback, Dover Thrift Editions, 70 pages
Published July 11th 1997 by Dover Publications (first published 1892)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Check out the author's biography online. She suffered emotional isolation as a child, and had a severe bout of postpartum depression/psychosis at a…moreCheck out the author's biography online. She suffered emotional isolation as a child, and had a severe bout of postpartum depression/psychosis at a time when it was all chalked up to "feminine hysteria". She was lucky she wasn't put away somewhere! The unnamed main character in this story is obviously Gilman's way of working through this traumatic time in her own life, as well as reflecting on society of the time. (Given various celebrity pronouncements of recent years about postpartum depression being a "myth", things haven't changed much in some spheres.)(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) As a woman, writing in 1892, and writing stories like the title story--it's amazing she ever got published at all, particularly in the straitlaced US…moreAs a woman, writing in 1892, and writing stories like the title story--it's amazing she ever got published at all, particularly in the straitlaced US of the time!(less)
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JV (semi-hiatus)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a remarkable woman and utopian feminist ahead of her time. Powerful, thought-provoking, and profoundly illuminating, Gilman developed seven short feminist narratives that seek to empower women and minorities oppressed by our patriarchal society. Highly polemical, gripping, and infused with relevant themes, she deconstructs the ideological subversion of both genders against the status quo, promotes civil rights and economic independence, and confronts the notion of to ...more
Jul 31, 2011 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
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
So, so good, the belittling and infantilizing treatment of this poor woman, and her entrapment in the room with the yellow wallpaper by her physician husband is a case history in how to drive someone completely insane.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"This wallpaper has a kind of subpattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then. But 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 behind that silly and conspicuous front design."

Classic horror in small doses provided by an author I had not heard about but who is now someone I will seek out for other stories.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallp
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
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.”
Reread in October 2018

As always, amazing writing and stories that make you think. Gotta love Gilman, not only for her talent of writing, but her courage to write such feminist pieces during the 18th century.


I only had to read The Yellow Wallpaper for class, however, as soon as I read that short-story, I knew I would have to read her other stories. Gilman's writing is flawless. I honestly think Charlotte Perkins Gilman is my new favorite short-/>5
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
5 stars for The Yellow Wallpaper - Excellent short story. After looking into Gilman’s traumatic inspiration for writing it, I was wowed.

4 stars for the other stories included in this small book - all were good.
David Schaafsma
The Yellow Wallpaper, first published in 1992, is now a staple of middle and high school English classes and college (Gender and )Women’s Studies programs, linked to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Ibsen’s The Doll House and similar texts reflecting on the damage patriarchy does to society, especially to women. Gilman wrote a lot of fiction, and also Women and Economics, was a friend of feminist and social reformer Jane Addams, and was increasingly a feminist critic of society.

Gilman al
jv poore
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, short-stories
I read The Yellow Wallpaper in my 8th grade Literature class and I was a bit blown away. Parts of this short story have stuck with me since. So, when I spotted this tiny tome for only fifty cents, I had to have it.

The title story was every bit as eerie-creepy-quirky as I remember, but I had missed the stunningly superb writing. I'm so pleased that I revisited this! I thoroughly enjoyed the following stories as well.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a powerful short story about a woman going mad, in part because she's not allowed to do anything. Gilman did a beautiful job showing how frustrating it was when the woman's concerns weren't taken seriously, both by her husband and by others. The story is written as an argument against restricting women from activities — commanding them to "rest" isn't always restful; it's maddening.

I first read this story in high school, but I'm quite certain I didn't really
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, usa
*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 to seal my (non
The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform.

In her lifetime, she wrote over 200 short stories. 7 of them are included here.

The Yellow Wallpaper. I could have never imagined that a story describing wallpaper could be so engrossing. The descriptions, however, depict a woman going deeper and deeper into mad
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:


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/>EXCUSE
Olivier Delaye
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This well-written story about a depressed and possibly deranged woman who is convinced that the wallpaper of her bedroom is haunted/possessed/inhabited reminded me of China Mieville’s Details, which appears in his short story collection Looking for Jake. In both, the devil is indeed in the details…

Author of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series
The Forgotten Goddess (Sebasten of Atlantis, #1) by Olivier Delaye
Feb 02, 2011 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.
Dec 22, 2015 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.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this collection of stories. My favorite was ‘Martha’s Mother’. I read it twice in a row with a mighty laugh at the end. Most made me SO HAPPY and grateful that I, as a woman, didn’t live in these earlier times. ‘The Wisteria Vine’ is one story I’d like to read around a camp fire or darkened fireplace on Halloween night. I love the author’s writing style. In most cases she brings you along slowly, building each story, then hits it out of the park sometimes abruptly at the end. 👍👍
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 and so turned
Punya Gupta
The Yellow Wallpaper is a chilling and brilliant short story of 6000 words by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Written in 1892 it is one of the first pieces of feminist literature available.
The story chronicles the descent of a woman into madness after she's kept under house arrest by her husband given her early signs of depression and anxiety.

This book was written in a conservative era where in women were not allowed to read and write and voice their opinions.

Aug 20, 2007 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
Sep 28, 2007 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,
Jun 10, 2012 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
Anne ✨
A super quick read at only 70 pages or so, this is a collection of seven short stories written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a utopian feminist ahead of her time. The themes are as relevant today as back then. The Yellow Wallpaper is the most popular, and has a mildly suspenseful feel. The others had quite a bit of humor, attitude, and an outspokenness on gender issues that would have been surprising for the times.

My favorites were:
The Yellow Wallpaper (mental illness & the 'resti/>The
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well holy shit!!

I was looking for some little horrors to keep me occupied while awaiting an email from a friend with their book. I was told to give this a go. It both scared the crap out of me and made me livid.

Well it scared the crap out of me while reading it and then made me angry when I read more about Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This story was written after she was put on the 'rest-cure' after giving birth to her daughter. Who would like to know what the 'rest-cure' entailed of?

Well holy shit!!

I was looking for some little horrors to keep me occupied while awaiting an email from a friend with their book. I was told to give this a go. It both scared the crap out of me and made me livid.

Well it scared the crap out of me while reading it and then made me angry when I read more about Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This story was written after she was put on the 'rest-cure' after giving birth to her daughter. Who would like to know what the 'rest-cure' entailed of?

In 1892, feminist writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman published "The Yellow Wallpaper", a horror short story based on her experience when placed under the rest cure from Dr. Silas W. Mitchell himself. She wasn't allowed to write in a journal, paint a picture, or release her imagination in any way, though she was artistically inclined. If she ever felt ill, she was simply told to return to bed. Her specific instructions from Dr. Mitchell were to "Live as domestic a life as possible. Have your child with you all the time... Lie down an hour after each meal. Have but two hours' intellectual life a day. And never touch pen, brush or pencil as long as you live."Gilman abided by Mitchell's instructions for several months before practically losing control of her sanity.

And what type of people were typically given this oh so wonderful and helpful cure? Why women of course!!! We are the hysterical and weaker sex after all.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was certainly a women born before her time. She sent a copy of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' to Dr. Mitchell after it was published. She also mentions him by name in the story and throws massive shade at him which makes me think she was all kinds of awesome.

This is certainly a powerful insight into a time when women had such little autonomy over their own bodies that it's terrifying to think about and why I think this works so well as a horror story. It's also important to keep in mind that there are still places in the world where women still don't have autonomy over their own bodies, my own country being one such place until very recently.
Kelly ...
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an incredible collection of stories! All were beautifully written. Some were sweet and a bit romantic. Some ended abruptly making me want a sequel. But it is the title story I loved most. It felt a bit like an Edgar Allen Poe story. I was reminded especially of The Cask of Amontillado, which I have always found the most shocking, scary, and realistic of his tales. It was horror in the modern sense, but was so much scarier than anything modern because it was believable.
Amy Neftzger
Jul 31, 2011 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
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Derk
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Charlotte Perkins Gilman would be 158 years old this July. Which got me thinking about her classic tale, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

If you were an English major in college, I’d wager you’ve read this story no less than three times.

Professor types love this thing. It’s feminist literature. It’s transgressive, but in a way that’s safe to discuss in classrooms. Hell, it even fits in with medical stuff. You can find a digitized copy of the story on the National Library of Medicin
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this story during my college days. It sticks with you because of its haunting writing and viewpoint. Excellent read!
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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
“It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” 854 likes
“There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.” 61 likes
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