Wednesday, July 30, 2014

C&LM: The Yellow Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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I read this short story a little while ago and it really struck me because it was such a sad and haunting tale. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story about a woman who is writing in her journal about her life. Her name is Jane and she is recovering in a home with her husband John who is a physician from a "temporary nervous depression", and she is locked upstairs in a room with barred windows and peeling yellow wallpaper. The story reads as her journal, and Jane tells the reader how she sees things moving in the walls, she describes the color as a horrid thing and sees women trapped within the pattern. John does not like that she writes and thinks it is bad for her health so she has to hide her journal from him. In the end, her descent into madness makes her believe that she is safer within the yellow room than anywhere else.

I found this story as I was browsing Page by Page books which is a website that allows you to read classic stories for free, and I'm so glad I chose this one. I couldn't stop reading so I'm glad it was a short story. I just felt so sorry for her because the story was set at a time where this really would happen to women who were deemed "hysterical" and I think anyone locked up like Jane was would go at least a little crazy. I really enjoyed the story so I may seek out more of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's work.

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