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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I suppose that I should have expected to see this come up as part of my studies. The Yellow Wallpaper is quite infamous for anyone who has any interest in Gothic or Feminist literature; I happen to like both, so let's see how this turned out.

The story follows an unnamed female narrator who has temporarily moved out to the country with her physician husband so that she can carry out the rest cure that he has prescribed for her. She is installed in a former nursery, with a hideous yellow wallpaper that she can't help but dislike. Unfortunately, due to her husband and her nurse's dislike of her writing, she is left with really only one option with which she can stimulate her mind: following the pattern in the wallpaper; this preoccupation with the wallpaper becomes something more when she starts seeing shapes moving behind the pattern.
This was honestly a lot creepier than I had assumed it would be. The idea of having all mental stimuli removed for long periods of time is something that I can't really imagine, so I can fully believe that she starts to go crazy as a result. I guess I just keep underestimating the power of the short story, although I keep being proved wrong.

The Yellow Wallpaper is a very quick read and definitely worth your time checking out. 4.5/5

Next review: Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton

Signing off,

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