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What Others Say about The Yellow Wallpaper

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What Others Say about The Yellow Wallpaper

 
    "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1890 and eventually published in 1892 in the New England Magazine and in William Dean Howells' collection, Great Modern American Stories (Shumaker 94). The story was original not only because of its subject matter, but also because it is written in the form of a loosely connected journal. It follows the narrator's private thoughts which become increasingly more confusing. The structure consists of disjointed sentences as the narrator gradually descends more and more into her madness as her only escape from an oppressive husband and society.

 

In "The Yellow Wallpaper" the narrator is a young woman who has moved into a strange old mansion with her psychiatrist husband. She is confined to her room as part of her treatment for a nervous breakdown. Isolated and forbidden to express herself creatively, she becomes obsessed with the garish yellow wallpaper. She becomes convinced there are women trapped behind the hideous pattern and eventually becomes lost in her delusions trying to free them (Gilman 1-15).

 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman originally sent her story to William Dean Howells who showed it to Atlantic Monthly editor Horace Scudder who sent it back to Gilman unpublished, saying, "I could not forgive myself if I made others as miserable as I made myself' (Shumaker 194). When Howells published the story in his own collection he described it as, "terrible and too wholly dire . . . too terribly good to be published" (Shoemaker 194). "The Yellow Wallpaper" hit a nerve with nineteenth-century readers as it went beyond a horror story and presented a damning portrait of the damaging role o...


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...w Wallpaper." "The Yellow Wallpaper" and other Stories. New York:

Dover Publications, 1997. 1-15.

 

Hedges, Elaine R. Afterword. The Yellow Wallpaper. 1973: 37-63. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 9.

Detroit: Gale: 1988.

 

Pringle, Mary Beth. " La poetique de Fespace' in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's `The Yellow Wallpaper''' The

French-American Review. 3 (1979): 15-22.

 

Schopp-Schilling, Beate. "' The Yellow Wallpaper': A Rediscovered Realistic Story."' American Literary

Realism 1870-1910. 8 (1975): 107-108.

 

Shumaker, Conrad. "'Too Terribly Good to Be Printed': Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper'" American

Literature. 57 (1985): 194-198.

 

Treichler, Paula A. "Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in The Yellow Wallpaper"' Tulsa Studies

in Women's Literature. 3 (1984): 61-77.


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