Interesting Literature

A Summary and Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, an 1892 short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, has the structure and style of a diary. This is in keeping with what the female narrator tells us: that she can only write down her experiences when her husband John is not around, since he has forbidden her to write until she is well again, believing it will overexcite her.

Through a series of short instalments, we learn more about the narrator’s situation, and her treatment at the hands of her doctor husband and her sister-in-law.

To summarise the story, then: the narrator and her husband John, a doctor, have come to stay at a large country house. As the story develops, we realise that the woman’s husband has brought her to the house in order to try to cure her of her mental illness (he has told her that repairs are being carried out on their home, which is why they have had to relocate to a mansion).

His solution, or treatment, is effectively to lock her away from everyone – including her own family, except for him – and to forbid her anything that might excite her, such as writing. (She writes her account of what happens to her, and the effect it has on her, in secret, hiding her pen and paper when her husband or his sister come into the room.)

John’s suggested treatment for his wife also extends to relieving her of maternal duties: their baby is taken out of her hands and looked after by John’s sister, Jennie. Jennie also does all of the cooking and housework.

It becomes clear, as the story develops, that depriving the female narrator of anything to occupy her mind is making her mental illness worse, not better.

The narrator confides that she cannot even cry in her husband’s company, or when anyone else is present, because that will be interpreted as a sign that her condition is worsening – and her husband has promised (threatened?) to send her to another doctor, Weir Mitchell, if her condition doesn’t show signs of improving. And according to a female friend who has been treated by him, Weir Mitchell is like her husband and brother ‘only more so’ (i.e. stricter).

The narrator then outlines in detail how she sometimes sits for hours on end in her room, tracing the patterns in the yellow wallpaper. She then tells us she thinks she can see a woman ‘stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern.’ At this point, she changes her mind, and goes from being fond of the pattern in the yellow wallpaper to wishing she could go away from the place.

She tells John that she isn’t getting any better in this house and that she would like to leave, but he tells her she is looking healthier and that they cannot return home for another three weeks, until their lease is up and the ‘repairs’ at home have been completed.

Despondent, the narrator tells us how she is becoming more obsessed by the yellow wallpaper, especially at night when she is unable to sleep and so lies awake watching the pattern in the wallpaper, which she says resembles a fungus.

She starts to fear her husband. She becomes paranoid that her husband and sister-in-law, Jennie, are trying to decipher the pattern in the yellow wallpaper, and she becomes determined to beat them to it. (Jennie was actually checking the wallpaper because the thought it was staining their clothes; this is the reason she gives to the narrator when asked about it, anyway. However, the more likely reason is that she and John have noticed the narrator’s obsession with looking at the wallpaper, and are becoming concerned.)

Next, the narrator tells us she has noticed the strange smell of the wallpaper, and tells us she seriously considered burning down the house to try to solve the mystery of what she smell was. She concludes that it is simply ‘a yellow smell!’ We now realise that the narrator is losing her mind rather badly.

She becomes convinced that the ‘woman behind’ the yellow wallpaper is shaking it, thus moving the front pattern of the paper. She says she has seen this woman creeping about the grounds of the house during the day; she returns to behind the wallpaper at night.

The narrator then tells us that she believes John and Jennie have become ‘affected’ by the wallpaper – that they are losing their minds from being exposed to it. So the narrator begins stripping the yellow wallpaper from the walls, much to the consternation of Jennie. John has all of his wife’s things moved out of the room, ready for them to leave the house. While John is out, the narrator locks herself inside the now bare room and throws the key out the window, so she cannot be disturbed.

She has become convinced that there are many creeping women roaming the grounds of the house, all of them originating from behind the yellow wallpaper, and that she is one of them. The story ends with her husband banging on the door to be let in, fetching the key when she tells him it’s down by the front door mat, and bursting into the room – whereupon he faints, at the sight of his wife creeping around the room.

That concludes a summary of the ‘plot’ of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. But what does it all mean?

‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ begins by dangling the idea that what we are about to read is a haunted house story, a Gothic tale, a piece of horror. Why else, wonders the story’s female narrator, would the house be available so cheaply unless it was haunted? And why had it remained unoccupied for so long? This is how many haunted house tales begin.

And this will turn out to be true, in many ways – the story is often included in anthologies of horror fiction, and there is a ‘haunting’ of a kind going on in the story – but as ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ develops we realise we’re reading something far more unsettling than a run-of-the-mill haunted house story, because the real ghosts and demons are either inside the narrator’s troubled mind or else her own husband and her sister-in-law.

Of course, these two things are linked. Because one of the ‘morals’ of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ – if ‘moral’ is not too strong a word to use of such a story – is that the husband’s treatment of his wife’s mental illness only succeeds in making her worse , rather than better, until her condition reaches the point where she is completely mad, suffering from hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. So ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is a haunted house story … but the only ghosts are inside the narrator’s head.

‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ borrows familiar tropes from a Gothic horror story – it ends with the husband taking an axe to the bedroom door where his cowering wife is imprisoned – but the twist is that, by the end of the story, she has imprisoned herself in her deluded belief that she is protecting her husband from the ‘creeping women’ from behind the wallpaper, and he is prepared to beat down the door with an axe out of genuine concern for his sick wife, rather than to butcher her, in the style of Bluebeard or Jack Torrance.

Narrative Style

As we mentioned at the beginning of this analysis, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ has the structure and style of a diary. This is in keeping with what the female narrator tells us: that she can only write down her experiences when her husband John is not around. But it also has the effect of shifting the narrative tense: from the usual past tense to the more unusual present tense.

Only one year separates ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ from George Egerton’s first volume of short stories , which made similarly pioneering use of present-tense narration in order to depict female consciousness.

The literary critic Ruth Robbins has made the argument that the past tense (or ‘perfect tense’) is unsuited to some modes of fiction because it offers the ‘perspective that leads to judgment’: because events have already occurred, we feel in a position to judge the characters involved.

Present-tense narration deters us from doing this so readily, for two reasons. First, we are thrown in amongst the events, experiencing them as they happen almost, so we feel complicit in them. Second, because things are still unfolding seemingly before our very eyes, we feel that to attempt to pass judgment on what’s happening would be too rash and premature: we don’t know for sure how things are going to play out yet.

Given that Gilman is writing about a mentally unstable woman being mistreated by her male husband (and therefore, given his profession, by the medical world too), her decision to plunge us headlong into the events of the story encourages us to listen to what the narrator is telling us before we attempt to pronounce on what’s going on.

The fact that ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is narrated in the first person, from the woman’s own perspective and in her own voice, is also a factor: the only access we have to her treatment (or mistreatment) and to her husband’s behaviour and personality is through her: what she tells us and how she tells it to us.

But there is another narrative advantage to this present-tense diary structure: we as readers are forced to appraise everything we are told by the narrator, and scrutinise it carefully, deciding whether we are being told the whole story or whether the narrator, in her nervous and unstable state, may not be seeing things as they really are.

A good example of this is when, having told us at length how she follows the patterns on the yellow wallpaper on the walls of her room, sometimes for hours on end, the narrator then tells us she is glad her baby doesn’t have to live in the same room, because someone as ‘impressionable’ as her child wouldn’t do well in such a room.

The dramatic irony which the narrator cannot see but which we, tragically, can, is that she is every bit as impressionable as a small child, and the yellow wallpaper – and, more broadly, her effective incarceration – is clearly having a deleterious effect on her mental health. (The story isn’t perfect: Gilman telegraphs the irony a little too strongly when, in the next breath, she has her narrator tell us, with misplaced confidence, ‘I can stand it so much easier than a baby, you see.’)

In the last analysis, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is so unsettling because it plays with established Gothic horror conventions and then subverts them in order to expose the misguided medical practices used in an attempt to ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ women who are suffering from mental or nervous disorders. It has become a popular feminist text about the male mistreatment of women partly because the ‘villain’, the narrator’s husband John, is acting out of a genuine (if hubristic) belief that he knows what’s best for her.

The whole field of nineteenth-century patriarchal society and the way it treats women thus comes under scrutiny, in a story that is all the more powerful for refusing to preach, even while it lets one such mistreated woman speak for herself.

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10 thoughts on “A Summary and Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’”

I absolutely loved this story. read it a few times in a row when I first crossed paths with it a few years ago –

“The Yellow Wallpaper” remains one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. Excellent analysis!

Fantastic book.

I cringe every time this story appears on a reading list or in a curriculum textbook. It’s almost hysterical in tone and quite disturbing in how overstated the “abuse” of the wife is supposed to be. It’s right up there with “The Awakening” as feminist literature that hinders, instead of promoting, the dilemma of 19th century women.

How is it overstated?

To witness the woman’s unraveling and how ignored she is, to me, a profound statement how people with emotional distress are not treated with respect.

  • Pingback: ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’: A Summary of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Story – Interesting Literature

Terrific analysis. Gothic fiction is always open to many forms of reading and particularly for feminist reading – as openly presented by Angela Carter’ neo-gothic stories (which I would love to read your analyses of one day Oliver!). ‘the Yellow Wallpaper’ I think is the go-to story for most feminist commentators on Gothic fiction – and rightly so. I can’t help notice the connections between this story and the (mis)treatments of Sigmund Freud. Soooo much in this story to think about that I feel like a kiddie in sweet shop!

Thank you as always, Ken, for the thoughtful comment – and I completely agree about the links with Freud. The 1890s really was a pioneering age for psychiatric treatment/analysis, though we cringe at some of the ideas that were seriously considered (and put into practice). Oddly enough I’ve just been rearranging the pile of books on the floor of my study here at IL Towers, and The Bloody Chamber is near the top of my list of books to cover in due course!

I will wait with abated breath for your thoughts! I love Angela Carter :)

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" tells the story of a young woman’s gradual descent into psychosis. " The Yellow Wallpaper" is often cited as an early feminist work that predates a woman’s right to vote in the United States. The author was involved in first-wave feminism, and her other works questioned the origins of the subjugation of women, particularly in marriage. "

The Yellow Wallpaper" is a widely read work that asks difficult questions about the role of women, particularly regarding their mental health and right to autonomy and self-identity. We’ll go over The Yellow Wallpaper summary, themes and symbols, The Yellow Wallpaper analysis, and some important information about the author.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" Summary

"The Yellow Wallpaper" details the deterioration of a woman's mental health while she is on a "rest cure" on a rented summer country estate with her family. Her obsession with the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom marks her descent into psychosis from her depression throughout the story.

The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" begins the story by discussing her move to a beautiful estate for the summer. Her husband, John, is also her doctor , and the move is meant in part to help the narrator overcome her “illness,” which she explains as nervous depression, or nervousness, following the birth of their baby. John’s sister, Jennie, also lives with them and works as their housekeeper.

Though her husband believes she will get better with rest and by not worrying about anything, the narrator has an active imagination and likes to write . He discourages her wonder about the house, and dismisses her interests. She mentions her baby more than once, though there is a nurse that cares for the baby, and the narrator herself is too nervous to provide care.

The narrator and her husband move into a large room that has ugly, yellow wallpaper that the narrator criticizes. She asks her husband if they can change rooms and move downstairs, and he rejects her. The more she stays in the room, the more the narrator’s fascination with the hideous wallpaper grows.

After hosting family for July 4th, the narrator expresses feeling even worse and more exhausted. She struggles to do daily activities, and her mental state is deteriorating. John encourages her to rest more, and the narrator hides her writing from him because he disapproves.

In the time between July 4th and their departure, the narrator is seemingly driven insane by the yellow wallpaper ; she sleeps all day and stays up all night to stare at it, believing that it comes alive, and the patterns change and move. Then, she begins to believe that there is a woman in the wallpaper who alters the patterns and is watching her.

A few weeks before their departure, John stays overnight in town and the narrator wants to sleep in the room by herself so she can stare at the wallpaper uninterrupted. She locks out Jennie and believes that she can see the woman in the wallpaper . John returns and frantically tries to be let in, and the narrator refuses; John is able to enter the room and finds the narrator crawling on the floor. She claims that the woman in the wallpaper has finally exited, and John faints, much to her surprise.

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Background on "The Yellow Wallpaper"

The author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was a lecturer for social reform, and her beliefs and philosophy play an important part in the creation of "The Yellow Wallpaper," as well as the themes and symbolism in the story. "The Yellow Wallpaper" also influenced later feminist writers.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, known as Charlotte Perkins Stetsman while she was married to her first husband, was born in Hartford, CT in 1860. Young Charlotte was observed as being bright, but her mother wasn’t interested in her education, and Charlotte spent lots of time in the library.

Charlotte married Charles Stetsman in 1884, and her daughter was born in 1885. She suffered from serious postpartum depression after giving birth to their daughter, Katharine. Her battle with postpartum depression and the doctors she dealt with during her illness inspired her to write "The Yellow Wallpaper."

The couple separated in 1888, the year that Perkins Gilman wrote her first book, Art Gems for the Home and Fireside. She later wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" in 1890, while she was in a relationship with Adeline Knapp, and living apart from her legal husband. "The Yellow Wallpaper" was published in 1892, and in 1893 she published a book of satirical poetry , In This Our World, which gained her fame.

Eventually, Perkins Gilman got officially divorced from Stetsman, and ended her relationship with Knapp. She married her cousin, Houghton Gilman, and claimed to be satisfied in the marriage .

Perkins Gilman made a living as a lecturer on women’s issues, labor issues, and social reform . She toured Europe and the U.S. as a lecturer, and founded her own magazine, The Forerunner.

Publication

"The Yellow Wallpaper" was first published in January 1892 in New England Magazine.

During Perkins Gilman's lifetime, the role of women in American society was heavily restricted both socially and legally. At the time of its publication, women were still twenty-six years away from gaining the right to vote .

This viewpoint on women as childish and weak meant that they were discouraged from having any control over their lives. Women were encouraged or forced to defer to their husband’s opinions in all aspects of life , including financially, socially, and medically. Writing itself was revolutionary, since it would create a sense of identity, and was thought to be too much for the naturally fragile women.

Women's health was a particularly misunderstood area of medicine, as women were viewed as nervous, hysterical beings, and were discouraged from doing anything to further “upset” them. The prevailing wisdom of the day was that rest would cure hysteria, when in reality the constant boredom and lack of purpose likely worsened depression .

Perkins Gilman used her own experience in her first marriage and postpartum depression as inspiration for The Yellow Wallpaper, and illustrates how a woman’s lack of autonomy is detrimental to her mental health.

Upon its publication, Perkins Gilman sent a copy of "The Yellow Wallpaper" to the doctor who prescribed her the rest cure for her postpartum depression.

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"The Yellow Wallpaper" Characters

Though there are only a few characters in the story, they each have an important role. While the story is about the narrator’s mental deterioration, the relationships in her life are essential for understanding why and how she got to this point.

The Narrator

The narrator of the story is a young, upper-middle-class woman. She is imaginative and a natural writer, though she is discouraged from exploring this part of herself. She is a new mother and is thought to have “hysterical tendencies” or suffer from nervousness. Her name may be Jane but it is unclear.

John is the narrator’s husband and her physician. He restricts her activity as a part of her treatment. John is extremely practical, and belittles the narrator's imagination and feelings . He seems to care about her well-being, but believes he knows what is best for her and doesn't allow her input.

Jennie is John’s sister, who works as a housekeeper for the couple. Jennie seems concerned for the narrator, as indicated by her offer to sleep in the yellow wallpapered room with her. Jennie seems content with her domestic role .

Main Themes of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

From what we know about the author of this story and from interpreting the text, there are a few themes that are clear from a "Yellow Wallpaper" analysis. "The Yellow Wallpaper" was a serious piece of literature that addressed themes pertinent to women.

Women's Role in Marriage

Women were expected to be subordinate to their husbands and completely obedient, as well as take on strictly domestic roles inside the home . Upper middle class women, like the narrator, may go for long periods of time without even leaving the home. The story reveals that this arrangement had the effect of committing women to a state of naïveté, dependence, and ignorance.

John assumes he has the right to determine what’s best for his wife, and this authority is never questioned. He belittles her concerns, both concrete and the ones that arise as a result of her depression , and is said so brush her off and “laugh at her” when she speaks through, “this is to be expected in marriage” He doesn’t take her concerns seriously, and makes all the decisions about both of their lives.

As such, she has no say in anything in her life, including her own health, and finds herself unable to even protest.

Perkins Gilman, like many others, clearly disagreed with this state of things, and aimed to show the detrimental effects that came to women as a result of their lack of autonomy.

Identity and Self-Expression

Throughout the story, the narrator is discouraged from doing the things she wants to do and the things that come naturally to her, like writing. On more than one occasion, she hurries to put her journal away because John is approaching .

She also forces herself to act as though she’s happy and satisfied, to give the illusion that she is recovering, which is worse. She wants to be a good wife, according to the way the role is laid out for her, but struggles to conform especially with so little to actually do.

The narrator is forced into silence and submission through the rest cure, and desperately needs an intellectual and emotional outlet . However, she is not granted one and it is clear that this arrangement takes a toll.

The Rest Cure

The rest cure was commonly prescribed during this period of history for women who were “nervous.” Perkins Gilman has strong opinions about the merits of the rest cure , having been prescribed it herself. John’s insistence on the narrator getting “air” constantly, and his insistence that she do nothing that requires mental or physical stimulation is clearly detrimental.

The narrator is also discouraged from doing activities, whether they are domestic- like cleaning or caring for her baby- in addition to things like reading, writing, and exploring the grounds of the house. She is stifled and confined both physically and mentally, which only adds to her condition .

Perkins Gilman damns the rest cure in this story, by showing the detrimental effects on women, and posing that women need mental and physical stimulation to be healthy, and need to be free to make their own decisions over health and their lives.

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The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis: Symbols and Symbolism

Symbols are a way for the author to give the story meaning, and provide clues as to the themes and characters. There are two major symbols in "The Yellow Wallpaper."

The Yellow Wallpaper

This is of course the most important symbol in the story. The narrator is immediately fascinated and disgusted by the yellow wallpaper, and her understanding and interpretation fluctuates and intensifies throughout the story.

The narrator, because she doesn’t have anything else to think about or other mental stimulation, turns to the yellow wallpaper as something to analyze and interpret. The pattern eventually comes into focus as bars, and then she sees a woman inside the pattern . This represents feeling trapped.

At the end of the story, the narrator believes that the woman has come out of the wallpaper. This indicates that the narrator has finally merged fully into her psychosis , and become one with the house and domesticated discontent.

Though Jennie doesn’t have a major role in the story, she does present a foil to the narrator. Jennie is John’s sister and their housekeeper, and she is content, or so the narrator believes, to live a domestic life. Though she does often express her appreciation for Jennie’s presence in her home, she is clearly made to feel guilty by Jennie’s ability to run the household unencumbered .

Irony in The Yellow Wallpaper

"The Yellow Wallpaper" makes good use of dramatic and situational irony. Dramatic literary device in which the reader knows or understands things that the characters do not. Situational irony is when the character’s actions are meant to do one thing, but actually do another. Here are a few examples.

For example, when the narrator first enters the room with the yellow wallpaper, she believes it to be a nursery . However, the reader can clearly see that the room could have just as easily been used to contain a mentally unstable person.

The best example of situational irony is the way that John continues to prescribe the rest-cure, which worsens the narrator's state significantly. He encourages her to lie down after meals and sleep more, which causes her to be awake and alert at night, when she has time to sit and evaluate the wallpaper.

The Yellow Wallpaper Summary

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is one of the defining works of feminist literature. Writing about a woman’s health, mental or physical, was considered a radical act at the time that Perkins Gilman wrote this short story. Writing at all about the lives of women was considered at best, frivolous, and at worst dangerous. When you take a look at The Yellow Wallpaper analysis, the story is an important look into the role of women in marriage and society, and it will likely be a mainstay in the feminist literary canon.

What's Next?

Looking for more expert guides on literary classics? Read our guides on The Cask of Amontillado and The Great Gatsby .

Need important and interesting quotes? Check out these 18 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes and 9 Great Mark Twain Quotes .

For help analyzing literature and writing essays , read our expert guide on imagery , literary elements , and writing an argumentative essay .

Carrie holds a Bachelors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and is currently pursuing an MFA. She worked in book publishing for several years, and believes that books can open up new worlds. She loves reading, the outdoors, and learning about new things.

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Analysis of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by C. Perkins Gilman

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Like Kate Chopin's " The Story of an Hour ," Charlotte Perkins Gilman's " The Yellow Wallpaper " is a mainstay of feminist literary study. First published in 1892, the story takes the form of secret journal entries written by a woman who is supposed to be recovering from what her husband, a physician, calls a nervous condition.

This haunting psychological horror story chronicles the narrator's descent into madness, or perhaps into the paranormal, or perhaps—depending on your interpretation—into freedom. The result is a story as chilling as anything by Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King .

Recovery Through Infantilization

The protagonist's husband, John, does not take her illness seriously. Nor does he take her seriously. He prescribes, among other things, a "rest cure," in which she is confined to their summer home, mostly to her bedroom.

The woman is discouraged from doing anything intellectual, even though she believes some "excitement and change" would do her good. She is allowed very little company—certainly not from the "stimulating" people she most wishes to see. Even her writing must happen in secret.

In short, John treats her like a child. He calls her diminutive names like "blessed little goose" and "little girl." He makes all decisions for her and isolates her from the things she cares about.

Even her bedroom is not the one she wanted; instead, it's a room that appears to have once been a nursery, emphasizing her return to infancy. Its "windows are barred for little children," showing again that she is being treated as a child—as well as a prisoner.

John's actions are couched in concern for the woman, a position that she initially seems to believe herself. "He is very careful and loving," she writes in her journal, "and hardly lets me stir without special direction." Her words also sound as if she is merely parroting what she's been told, though phrases like "hardly lets me stir" seem to harbor a veiled complaint.

Fact Versus Fancy

John dismisses anything that hints of emotion or irrationality—what he calls "fancy." For instance, when the narrator says that the wallpaper in her bedroom disturbs her, he informs her that she is letting the wallpaper "get the better of her" and refuses to remove it.

John doesn't simply dismiss things he finds fanciful though; he also uses the charge of "fancy" to dismiss anything he doesn't like. In other words, if he doesn't want to accept something, he simply declares that it is irrational.

When the narrator tries to have a "reasonable talk" with him about her situation, she is so distraught that she is reduced to tears. Instead of interpreting her tears as evidence of her suffering, he takes them as evidence that she is irrational and can't be trusted to make decisions for herself.

As part of his infantilization of her, he speaks to her as if she is a whimsical child, imagining her own illness. "Bless her little heart!" he says. "She shall be as sick as she pleases!" He does not want to acknowledge that her problems are real, so he silences her.

The only way the narrator could appear rational to John would be to become satisfied with her situation, which means there is no way for her to express concerns or ask for changes.

In her journal, the narrator writes:

"John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him."

John can't imagine anything outside his own judgment. So when he determines that the narrator's life is satisfactory, he imagines that the fault lies with her perception. It never occurs to him that her situation might really need improvement.

The Wallpaper

The nursery walls are covered in putrid yellow wallpaper with a confused, eerie pattern. The narrator is horrified by it.

She studies the incomprehensible pattern in the wallpaper, determined to make sense of it. But rather than making sense of it, she begins to identify a second pattern—that of a woman creeping furtively behind the first pattern, which acts as a prison for her.

The first pattern of the wallpaper can be seen as the societal expectations that hold women, like the narrator, captive. Her recovery will be measured by how cheerfully she resumes her domestic duties as wife and mother, and her desire to do anything else—like write—is something that would interfere with that recovery.

Though the narrator studies and studies the pattern in the wallpaper, it never makes any sense to her. Similarly, no matter how hard she tries to recover, the terms of her recovery—embracing her domestic role—never make sense to her, either.

The creeping woman can represent both victimization by the societal norms and resistance to them.

This creeping woman also gives a clue about why the first pattern is so troubling and ugly. It seems to be peppered with distorted heads with bulging eyes—the heads of other creeping women who were strangled by the pattern when they tried to escape it. That is, women who couldn't survive when they tried to resist cultural norms. Gilman writes that "nobody could climb through that pattern—it strangles so."

Becoming a Creeping Woman

Eventually, the narrator becomes a creeping woman herself. The first indication is when she says, rather startlingly, "I always lock the door when I creep by daylight." Later, the narrator and the creeping woman work together to pull off the wallpaper.

The narrator also writes, "[T]here are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast," implying that the narrator is only one of many.

That her shoulder "just fits" into the groove on the wall is sometimes interpreted to mean that she has been the one ripping the paper and creeping around the room all along. But it could also be interpreted as an assertion that her situation is no different from that of many other women. In this interpretation, "The Yellow Wallpaper" becomes not just a story about one woman's madness, but a maddening system.

At one point, the narrator observes the creeping women from her window and asks, "I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did?"

Her coming out of the wallpaper—her freedom—coincides with a descent into mad behavior: ripping off the paper, locking herself in her room, even biting the immovable bed. That is, her freedom comes when she finally reveals her beliefs and behavior to those around her and stops hiding.

The final scene—in which John faints and the narrator continues to creep around the room, stepping over him every time—is disturbing but also triumphant. Now John is the one who is weak and sickly, and the narrator is the one who finally gets to determine the rules of her own existence. She is finally convinced that he only "pretended to be loving and kind." After being consistently infantilized by his comments, she turns the tables on him by addressing him condescendingly, if only in her mind, as "young man."

John refused to remove the wallpaper, and in the end, the narrator used it as her escape. 

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Literary Theory and Criticism

Home › Literature › Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wall-Paper

Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wall-Paper

By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on April 28, 2022

First published in New England Magazine in January 1892, and reprinted by Small, Maynard and Company as a chapbook (1899), “The Yellow Wall-Paper” is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s most famous work. Depicting the nervous breakdown of a young wife and mother, the story is a potent example of psychological realism. Based loosely on Gilman’s own experiences in undergoing the rest cure for neurasthenia, the story documents the psychological torment of her fictional first-person narrator.

The narrator’s husband, John, a physician, prescribes isolation and inactivity as treatment for her illness, a “temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” (10). John forbids her to engage in any kind of labor, including writing. Despite his admonitions, however, the narrator records her impressions in a secret diary.

thesis of yellow wallpaper

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These diary entries compose the text of the story; they reveal the narrator’s emotional descent. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that she is suffering an acute form of postpartum depression, a condition acknowledged neither by John nor by the late-19th-century medical community. So severe is the narrator’s depression that a nursemaid has assumed care of the new baby. Deprived of the freedom to write openly, which she believes would be therapeutic, the narrator gradually shifts her attention to the yellow wallpaper in the attic nursery where she spends her time. The paper both intrigues and repels her; it becomes the medium on which she symbolically inscribes her “text.” Soon she detects a subpattern in the wallpaper that crystallizes into the image of an imprisoned woman attempting to escape. In the penultimate scene, the narrator’s identity merges with that of the entrapped woman, and together they frantically tear the paper from the walls. In an ironic reversal in the final scene, John breaks into the room and, after witnessing the full measure of his wife’s insanity, faints. Significantly, however, he is still blocking his wife, literally and symbolically obstructing her path so that she has to “creep over him every time!” (36).

Critics disagree over the meaning of the story, variously arguing the significance of everything from linguistic cues, to psychoanalytic interpretations, to historiographical readings. While some critics have hailed the narrator as a feminist heroine, others have seen in her a maternal failure coupled with a morbid fear of female sexuality. Some have viewed the story, with its yellow paper, as an exemplar of the silencing of women writers in 19th-century America; others have focused on its gothic elements.

Since the Feminist Press reissued the story in 1973, “The Yellow Wall-Paper” has been widely anthologized and is now firmly assimilated in the American literary body of work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wall-paper. Boston: Small, Maynard, & Co., 1899. Reprint, Old Westbury, N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1973. Lanser, Susan A. “Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ and the Politics of Color in America.” Feminist Studies 15, no. 3 (Fall 1989): 415–441. Shumaker, Conrad. “ ‘Too Terribly Good to Be Printed’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’ ” American Literature 57, no. 4 (1985): 588–599. Veeder, William. “Who Is Jane? The Intricate Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Arizona Quarterly 44, no. 3 (1988): 40–79.

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An archive dedicated to classic women authors and their work, the yellow wallpaper by charlotte perkins gilman: an analysis, by sarah wyman | on january 16, 2018 | updated march 26, 2024 | comments (0).

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) highlights a long short story (or short novella) considered a feminist literary classic. This story starts with a mystery: the house seems to have “something queer about it.”

As we read on, it becomes clear that the house is not the only thing strange about this story. The secluded, rented country home and the attic room the narrator inhabits come to represent or symbolize her situation and her very self.

She lives under her physician/husband’s care as a patient (deemed abnormal ), subjected to the “rest cure” as a treatment for what appears to be postpartum depression. 

Fiction in the form of first-person diaries

More broadly, we could see the prison-like room she inhabits (with barred windows, a gate on the stairs, rings in the walls, and a nailed-down bed) as symbolic of her situation as an upper-middle-class woman of a particular time and place (19th century America).

Living under patriarchal rule, she is discouraged from self-expression and productivity via work and writing.

Gilman writes in the form of first-person diary entries penned by the narrator. We as readers are positioned as eavesdroppers, listening in on a conversation the narrator conducts with herself.

This rhetorical choice lends a sense of immediacy to the writing. Sometimes, the narrator recounts an event that transpired earlier in the day or recent past. More often, however, and increasingly as the text evolves, she narrates in the present tense.

We thus witness the workings of her unusual mind, even as it comes up with new thoughts and discoveries: “I wonder – I begin to think – I wish John would take me away from here!”

Ironically, as the narrator claims to improve physically and emotionally, her condition, according to the norms of psychological behavior, worsens.

The language reflects this deterioration and dissonance, becoming more highly charged, the syntax more fragmented, the interruptions more frequent. The narrator eventually loses her grip on the reality we all share and lurches into the world of her own creative imagination or hallucination.

Ultimately, the narrator manages to project herself into the persona of the woman she sees in the wallpaper. Standing beside her, we would likely see no such being. Yet, the narrator and woman trapped in the wallpaper pattern become one and the same. By extension, they symbolize all women living under this particular form of oppression.

. . . . . . . . . .

The Yellow Wall-Paper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1913 essay Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper

“Suicidal” wallpaper sets an ominous tone

The gruesome details of the “suicidal” wallpaper pattern set an ominous tone, even of paranoia: “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.” The violence of her grotesque descriptions seems to express extreme frustration.

Such imagery could indicate an image of her very self as a monster , since she either refuses or fails to play the “good mother” role or the type of 19th century feminine perfection: an angel in the house .

The narrator’s relationship with her physician/husband John proves to be a key to her highly symbolic situation. Utterly condescending, he often addresses her as though she were a child, demanding, for example, “What is it, little girl?” He seems to have imprisoned her.

Writing as a form of rebellion

Writing itself becomes for her both work and rebellion, for he has denied her this outlet, this access to creative production and expression, and this means of finding a voice and thus establishing an identity. Nevertheless, she manages to achieve all these necessities, through her increasingly secretive journaling.

One could call the narrator an artist of the self, as the writing she carries out creates a world, which in turn, defines her very being. The text turns meta-discursive, or the writing comments reflexively on itself as she writes, “I don’t know why I should write this./ I don’t want to./ I don’t feel able./…it is such a relief!”

An ironic conclusion

The conclusion proves additionally ironic with the infantilized image of her “creeping” or crawling, like a baby. Somehow, she has constructed a reality she can bear to inhabit. Yet, she has become utterly estranged from herself (one definition of being psychotic).

Many readers see the narrator as Jane herself in her final cry to John, “I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”

One could read the tight-leashed, yet high-voiced narrator at the end as either utterly defeated or triumphant, in that she has garnered the freedom to express a finally authentic, independent self.

— Contributed by Sarah Wyman, Associate Professor of English,  SUNY-New Paltz

For further, in-depth analysis: 

  • Managing Madness in Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper by Beverly Hume
  •  “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Her Psychology of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman page on Amazon*

How The Yellow Wallpaper begins

It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer.

A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate!

Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.

Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?

John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.

John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.

John is a physician, and PERHAPS—(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)—PERHAPS that is one reason I do not get well faster.

You see he does not believe I am sick!

And what can one do?

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?

Read the full text of The Yellow Wallpaper on this site .

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Literary Analysis: The Yellow Wallpaper

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Published: Jan 30, 2024

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Plot summary, analysis of the narrator's descent into madness, exploration of the symbolism of the wallpaper, examination of the theme of gender inequality, discussion of the use of setting to enhance the story.

  • Gilman, C. P. (1892). The Yellow Wallpaper.
  • Korb, R. (2018). The Yellow Wallpaper Study Guide. Retrieved from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Yellow-Wallpaper/
  • Wilson, S. (2019). The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.gradesaver.com/the-yellow-wallpaper/study-guide/summary

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poem. A poet in a Heian period kimono writes Japanese poetry during the Kamo Kyokusui No En Ancient Festival at Jonan-gu shrine on April 29, 2013 in Kyoto, Japan. Festival of Kyokusui-no Utage orignated in 1,182, party Heian era (794-1192).

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The Yellow Wallpaper , short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman , published in New England Magazine in May 1892 and in book form in 1899. The Yellow Wallpaper , initially interpreted as a Gothic horror tale , was considered the best as well as the least-characteristic work of fiction by Gilman.

An autobiographical account fictionalized in the first person, it describes the gradual emotional and intellectual deterioration of a young wife and mother who, apparently suffering from postpartum depression , undergoes a “rest cure,” involving strict bed rest and a complete absence of mental stimulation, under the care of her male neurologist.

thesis of yellow wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte perkins gilman, ask litcharts ai: the answer to your questions.

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

The Yellow Wallpaper: Introduction

The yellow wallpaper: plot summary, the yellow wallpaper: detailed summary & analysis, the yellow wallpaper: themes, the yellow wallpaper: quotes, the yellow wallpaper: characters, the yellow wallpaper: symbols, the yellow wallpaper: literary devices, the yellow wallpaper: quizzes, the yellow wallpaper: theme wheel, brief biography of charlotte perkins gilman.

The Yellow Wallpaper PDF

Historical Context of The Yellow Wallpaper

Other books related to the yellow wallpaper.

  • Full Title: The Yellow Wallpaper
  • When Written: June, 1890
  • Where Written: California
  • When Published: May, 1892
  • Literary Period: Gothic
  • Genre: Short story; Gothic horror; Feminist literature
  • Setting: Late nineteenth century, in a colonial mansion that has been rented for the summer. Most of the story’s action takes place in a room at the top of the house that is referred to as the “nursery.”
  • Climax: The narrator suffers a complete mental breakdown, identifying herself with the woman she has hallucinated as being trapped in the yellow wallpaper and clawing at the walls as she creeps in endless circles about the room and over her fainted husband.
  • Antagonist: John, the narrator’s husband and doctor, could be considered an antagonist, although he is not a purely evil character.
  • Point of View: First person narrator, in a series of diary entries.

Extra Credit for The Yellow Wallpaper

Self-funded. To finance her education at the Rhode Island School of Design, Charlotte Perkins Gilman painted advertisements (trade cards) for soap companies.

Utopian lit. In addition to critiques like The Yellow Wallpaper , Gilman wrote utopian fiction through which she imagined a world in which social conditions reflected equality for women.

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The Yellow Wallpaper - Essay Samples And Topic Ideas For Free

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a seminal piece of feminist literature, explores themes of mental illness, patriarchal oppression, and female autonomy. Essays could delve into the narrative structure, the symbolism of the wallpaper, and the psychological descent of the protagonist. They might also discuss the historical context of women’s mental health during the late 19th century, and how Gilman’s personal experiences influenced her work. Discussions could extend to the story’s influence on feminist literary criticism, its relevance in contemporary discussions on mental health and gender, and how “The Yellow Wallpaper” resonates with or challenges modern readers in understanding the historical and ongoing struggles for women’s autonomy and well-being. We’ve gathered an extensive assortment of free essay samples on the topic of The Yellow Wallpaper you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Feminism in the Yellow Wallpaper and the Story of an Hour

Throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, the protagonist is described as a woman of the 1800’s facing oppression by male dominance. In comparison, the protagonist from Kate Chopin’s, “The Story of an Hour”, experiences the same oppression. Both protagonists are dealing with some type of loss over the course of their short story, but in contrast the effectiveness of their loss differs on opposite ends of the spectrum. Ultimately both protagonists are portrayed as women who experience […]

Symbolism in the Yellow Wallpaper

In Charlotte Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," the storyteller is found at the highest point of an old home in a room decorated in a yellow wallpaper. The lady depicted had recently given birth to a child but is presently experiencing what she describes as a "nervous condition.As the lady stays in the room, she becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper of her room. Inside the strict components of the story are images that demonstrate the hidden message of […]

Irony and Symbols: the Way of Gilman and Poe

If Edgar Allan Poe had lived to see the days that Charlotte Perkins Gilman was alive and writing, he would have commended her for her excellent taste in literary devices. It may be true that the father of dark romanticism and this social reformist have little in common, between their life stories and the messages they aimed to portray in their works. However, Gilman and Poe both utilized a combination of literary devices, specifically symbolism and irony, to solidify the […]

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The Yellow Wallpaper Character Analysis

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins- Gilman. The meaning of the story is beyond belief as it see the sights into the basic issues of a woman's place in society, and women's rights in the 19th century. Charlotte Perkins-Gilman's theme behind the short story was an awareness approach and a feminist approach. The main character in the story struggles against the masculine ways of thinking and society norms or standards. She also struggles with mental […]

The Yellow Wallpaper Feminism

Any literary work intends to evoke some profound feelings and impressions that readers link to their personal experience and reality around. Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a feminist gothic story “The Yellow Wallpaper” that discloses the issues of female suffering and lack of freedom in the patriarchal society that limits women’s choices and desires. The protagonist faces discrimination and neglect that result in her physical and psychological breakdown, broken illusions about self-identity, and madness as a response to inside and outside […]

Psychological and Physical Well-being of Women in the XIX Century

The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by American author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 at the New England press. It is considered as an important first study of American feminist writing, because of its example of the attitudes towards psychological and physical well-being of women in the nineteenth century. Narrated in the first person, this story is a collection of diary entries written by a woman whose physician partner (John) has rented the ancient house for […]

Jane’s Depression in the Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper is written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This story is about a young woman by the name of Jane who is a wife, trapped in a room. Jane suffers from depression following the birth of her child. Her husband, John, diagnoses her behavior as melancholia. He prescribes her rest and leases a house in the country for her rehabilitation. John is a respected physician, so Jane initially needs his advice. He does not let her write, which is […]

The Yellow Wallpaper: the Symbolism between the Mental Conditions and the Wallpaper

       In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, there is a connection between the narrator's mental structure and the wallpaper itself. As the woman works to gain back her sanity, she rips the paper down to free herself from that confinement, as she watches her mental state deteriorate day by day. Niko Kazantzakis, a Greek novelist, states “A person needs a little madness or else they never dare cut the rope and be free”. On a larger scale, […]

“Dragos Tenter” Fiction Paper

The Oscars, the Emmys and the Tonys are awards given to the best of the arts. Literature is an inspiration for TV programs and Broadway plays. There are four nominees for the Best American short story of all time. The nominees are “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The winner is “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman […]

Feminist Criticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”

In the 1890 's women were not allowed to have a voice for themselves, their husbands were the ones that were allowed to make all the decisions in the house. Charlotte Perkins-Gilman had a feminist approach to this story, due to the protagonists' struggles against male thinking and society norms. The story tells of the close-mindedness of how postpartum depression was treated and dealt with by society. It tells of a woman who is the narrator, who is going through […]

The Yellow Wallpaper Victorian Era Gender Roles

The Civil War had just recently come to a close bringing about many changes in American culture. The archaic class system had been shaken, leaving the wealthy and middle class void of social standards and in search of a new identity. In an act of desperation, Americans adopted European culture, a culture tyrannized by men, as their own. In the 1890s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story of a woman who is diagnosed with hysteria […]

About Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s the Yellow Wall-Paper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-Paper is a short story that is told in entries of a secret diary. The story starts when Jane, the narrator and her husband, John, move into an estate that they will be spending three months in. When they first move in, the narrator asks for the room on the very first floor with roses that surround the window. Her husband, however, had other ideas and bluntly refuses, saying the room is extremely small as […]

The Yellow Wallpaper Time Setting Analysis

The Yellow Wallpaper was allegory gothic literature by charlotte Gerkins Gilman written in 19th century a period of social change and the beginning of industrial revolution a time where man dominated everything including, social, economic and domestic issues, although it was a time of abolition of slavery, social injustice against women was prevalence where woman symbolises assets to acquire just like furniture or an object of bearing children for the family. The woman at that time lack locus standing and […]

The Examination of Literary Devices in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

During the nineteenth century, women were seen as property rather than human beings with rights. Because of this ordeal, women became active feminists and social reformists in order to change their social rank in society, known as the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Among these women was Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who wrote many works pertaining to the discrimination and minority of women during these times to change how people viewed women in society. This progressive movement had a heavy impact on Gilman’s […]

About Postpartum Depression in the Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper does not, in my opinion, reflect contemporary concerns of women. Gilman's short story focuses on the idea that men control the lives of women in essentially every aspect. The narrator's husband tells her not to do anything to stimulate her brain. He asks her not to write, think about her condition, or to talk to anyone in a stimulating fashion. Her whole life at this point is decided by her husband and brother, who […]

The Yellow Wallpaper Theme

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman is a short story of a young woman’s journal entries, who is seemingly mentally unstable. She shows symptoms of anxiety, depression, and “hysteria”. The narrator’s name is not definitive but is alluded to being Jane and for the sake of clarity in this essay, she will be mentioned as such. John, her husband, is a physician and believes she just needs to rest to be cured; he rents a mansion for 3 months in […]

Position of Women

"In "Their Eyes Were Watching God", women are confined as objects of desire to men. In the novel, Janie’s first husband, Logan, believes that having a wife is to make his life easier so he would not be constantly working. Logan insists that Janie helps him with his stuff when he says, “You ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever Ah need yuh. Git uh move on yuh, and dat quick” (Hurston 30). It is obvious that Janie is seen […]

Symbolizing the Control of Women in the Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the author, symbolizes the control of women and their subjugation in society around that era. The narrator, Perkin's main character in the story, suffers from postpartum depression and was prescribed by her husband, John, a physician, bed rest. Later, the narrator is placed in a room with a yellow wallpaper. The narrator believes that behind the wallpaper she can visualize a woman. Her obsession grows, finds clues towards […]

The Narrator of the Yellow Wallpaper

In the beginning of the story, the narrator explained the house as being a beautiful, silent, far away from the village, gated, and a haunted house. She already described the home as something devil-like possessed and wondered why else the house went on sale for so cheap and why it was abandoned for so long. Has strict rules by her husband to stay in the house all day with some exercise outside in the gated garden. While being indoors all […]

Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper

The yellow wallpaper ends with the narrator and her husband are subsequently leaving soon, and employees pack up the furniture. John desires to remain round the nearby area, and the narrator is aware this is her last probability to free the lady in the wallpaper. Jennie wishes to set down with the narrator; in any case, the narrator uncovers to her that she will relaxation better besides any different individual. Right when the moon turns out, the woman in the […]

The Story the Yellow Wallpaper

The story starts with the narrator suffering from postpartum depression after childbirth. On the old days, this was known as woman hysterics. Due to people who were supposed to rent the house were wealthy people who lost their money, the house was rented for a low price. The narrator expresses the hate she has for the room she is locked in because of the ugly wallpaper, so ugly it drives her crazy. John is the husband of the narrator, who […]

“One Hour Story” by Kate Chopin and “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Stetson

In the late 1800’s, the roles of women placed them in conditions which much less power and opportunity than is available in the modern era. The Story of An Hour, by Kate Chopin and The Yellow Wall-Paper, by Charlotte Perkins Stetson are both short stories written by women in the late 1800’s and the tone displayed by the authors is that of oppression. Both stories bear similar themes. The following paper will compare and contrast the message’s in both stories […]

The Role of the Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" showcases the female narrator's seclusion from society while attempting to come to terms with her rather horrifying dementia. It takes the form of a horrific tale, detailing the hidden internal struggles of domestic abuse. What's more, it is a flat-out rejection of the role Gilman believes women are forcibly pushed into isolation at the hands of patriarchal abuse. Her psychological pain is diagnosed as a sort of nervous disorder by none other […]

Gender Oppression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator is suffering from post-partum depression; however, her husband who happens to be a physician, ignores her and just assumes she needs rest. In doing so, the narrator’s illness progressed and eventually lead to her insanity. During the 1800’s men were superior to women and were expected to be a dutiful housewife and obey their husband. However, in the narrator’s case obeying her husband was detrimental to her sanity. Gender […]

Comparative Study on the Yellow Wallpaper and Young Goodman Brown

The book "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about a man (Goodman Brown) who leaves home to attend an unholy meeting at the heart of a forest, only to find that most of his pious friends are actually ardent devil worshippers. He remains wary of them when he goes back home till his dying moments. The author is an American novelist and short story writer. Most of his literary works revolve in and around England, most of which features […]

The Feminist Views on the Yellow Wallpaper

In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a story about feminist literature and what it was like for women in the nineteenth century. Women in that century faced several obstacles that nobody would ever understand. This woman was placed in a room and that was all she knew was being in that room. She was placed in there by her husband which also was her physician who thinks she is suffering from a temporary […]

A Comparative Analysis of Female Characters in Literature and Television

While the Story of an Hour and the Yellow Wallpaper are two distinctly different stories written by two separate authors, they share many of the same themes and elements. Both works depict a woman facing oppression through marriage and society, longing for freedom and autonomy. This theme is still very relevant and is at the center of Sansa Starks character arc in Game of Thrones. All three women face an oppressive society and desire freedom and independence. In all three […]

Critical Evaluation the Yellow Wallpaper

In the story of The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator, Jane, is diagnosed with nervous depression. This condition is brought up multiple times throughout the story in many parts but in different forms. This is what ultimately leads her to go insane staring at the yellow wallpaper. The narrator puts enormous emphasis on this condition in subtle ways. Her choice of wording in the above text has more than one meaning, it is an extremely important choice of words for the […]

Control and Feminism in the Yellow Wallpaper

Acquiring Basic Rights for women has been a nonyielding fight since the beginning of time, and it was through such strife that the movement known as feminism was born. Feminism can be defined in the dictionary as “ Advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes”, this type of advocacy occurs in many different ways but some of the earliest and most influential came from literature. The early-to-mid-nineteenth century was a landmarking time for women […]

The Historical Context in Charlotte Gilman’s the Yellow Wallpaper: Women’s March

The views of current society, along with past generations, have shown women have been relatively domesticated, only having a purpose when it comes time to bear children and take charge of all household affairs. The men, on the other hand, have tendencies to go out in the world and provide for their families by doing the “harder” labor. For too long, this has been seen as the status quo. Women are heads of the household only and are inferior in […]

Originally published :January 1892
Author :Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Text :The Yellow Wallpaper at Wikisource
Characters :The Woman in the Wallpaper, John, Mary, Narrator, Jennie
Genre :Novella
Adaptations :Apocalypse Now (1979), Heart of Darkness (1993), Windigo (1994), Heart of Darkness

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How To Write an Essay About The Yellow Wallpaper

Introduction to charlotte perkins gilman's the yellow wallpaper.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a pivotal work in feminist literature, exploring themes of mental illness, female oppression, and the struggle for self-expression. Your essay should begin with an introduction to the short story, outlining its plot which centers on a woman's descent into psychosis and her obsession with the yellow wallpaper in her room. It's important to contextualize the story within the era it was written, highlighting the 19th-century attitudes towards women's health, both physical and mental. This introduction sets the stage for an analysis of the story's key themes and Gilman's commentary on the societal norms of her time.

Analyzing Key Themes and Symbolism

The body of your essay should delve into the story's themes and symbols. One of the main themes to explore is the treatment of women's mental health in the 19th century, particularly the practice of the "rest cure" prescribed to the protagonist. Discuss how the yellow wallpaper itself becomes a symbol of the protagonist's mental state and her struggle against the patriarchal structures that confine her. The story's exploration of identity and self-expression through the protagonist's secret journal entries can also be a critical point of analysis. Support your discussion with specific examples and quotes from the text, and consider how Gilman uses narrative techniques to convey the protagonist’s gradual loss of reality and her increasing obsession with the wallpaper.

Contextual Analysis

Offer a contextual analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper," considering it within the broader framework of feminist literature and its historical context. Explore how the story reflects Gilman's own experiences and views on women's rights and the societal expectations of women during her time. Discuss the public and critical reception of the story when it was first published and how perceptions of it have evolved over time. This analysis should demonstrate an understanding of how "The Yellow Wallpaper" goes beyond a simple tale of psychological horror to become a powerful feminist statement.

Concluding Thoughts

Conclude your essay by summarizing the key points of your analysis, emphasizing the significance of the story in both literary and historical contexts. Reflect on the enduring relevance of "The Yellow Wallpaper" in modern times, particularly in discussions surrounding mental health and gender equality. Your conclusion should not only reiterate the main themes of the story but also invite readers to consider its impact and relevance in today's society. A well-crafted conclusion will leave the reader with a deeper understanding of Gilman's work and its contribution to feminist literature.

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The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics & Samples

At some point in your studying, you might be asked to produce “The Yellow Wallpaper” analysis essay. Well, if you’re reading this, you have already received this task! Let’s start by choosing a suitable topic to write about.

This article by Custom-Writing.org experts contains “The Yellow Wallpaper” essay topics, “The Yellow Wallpaper” essay prompts, and writing samples. Go on reading if you want to learn more!

  • 🌟 How to Choose
  • 💡 Essay Topics
  • 🎓 Thesis Ideas
  • 📝 Essay Prompts
  • ❓ Top 12 Questions
  • 🔍 Research Paper Topics
  • ✒️ Essay Samples

🌟 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics: How to Choose

First of all, you need to think about the topic of your paper. One way to choose a writing idea is to consider the main facts about “The Yellow Wallpaper”:

  • The story was written at the end of the 19th century about mental disorder treatment of that time.
  • It is considered one of the strongest and most prominent pieces of feminist literature .

These facts might be your first clue for choosing an essay topic. Try to look at the issues of mental health and gender stereotypes from your perspective.  

In case you don’t particularly fancy the theme of feminism in “The Yellow Wallpaper” , there are many other options to choose from. Here are two tips that will help you pick an essay topic:

  • Try highlighting the moments that stand out for you in the story. Then, expand on them in your paper.
  • Write down any questions you might have during the reading to use them later.

However, if you don’t want to spend too much time on it, jump straight away to our list of topics for “The Yellow Wallpaper” essays.

💡 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics

  • The meaning of the story’s title.
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper”   as a horror story.
  • Representation of madness in the story.
  • The significance of the unnamed narrator.
  • Color symbolism in Gilman’s story.
  • Explain why the story’s ending is optimistic.
  • Study the use of Gothic elements in the narrative.
  • Why ”The Yellow Wallpaper” is still relevant today.
  • The meaning of “creeping” in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • Comparison of A Rose for Emily and “The Yellow Wallpaper”.  
  • John as Dr. Mitchel’s double in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • The symbolism of a fixed bed in Gilman’s story.
  • Marriage in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Story of an Hour .
  • Infantilization of the story’s protagonist by her husband.
  • Describe the role of nature in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”. 
  • How a 19 th -century woman’s yearnings are presented by Gilman.
  • Examine the trope of the haunted house in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • Writing as a process of self-assertion in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • How Gilman’s story influenced mental health treatment of women.
  • The perils of marriage and motherhood in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

📝 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Prompts

  • Study the issue of the gender roles in the story and compare it to modern norms. “The Yellow Wallpaper” highlights the problem of the suppression of women. Your essay on this topic may include some comments on family life as well. Since this topic is quite popular, we also suggest presenting your unique interpretation of this question.
  • The Yellow Wallpaper’s conclusion: different versions. How do you understand the ending of the story? Why, in your opinion, did the author cut it at that specific moment? Brainstorm these questions and try to figure out what would be the best interpretation. Don’t forget to support your opinion with fair arguments.
  • What is the relationship between the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and her diary? The main character seems to get some relief from journaling her thoughts and daily life events. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help prevent the total crash of her identity at the end of the story. You can write “The Yellow Wallpaper” character analysis essay about it.
  • Draw a parallel between the description of the wallpaper and the mental health of the narrator. We can notice the change in the writing as the mental illness of the narrator progresses. Look into one particular aspect there: the description of the wallpaper. How does the pattern change in foreshadowing future breakdown?
  • Compare “The Yellow Wallpaper” to another feminist piece of writing of the same time frame Here it would be perfect if you found some unique elements that Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses in her story. Don’t forget that the focus of this essay should be on the theme of feminism . For better outcomes, add a quotation as a hook at the beginning of your essay.
  • “ The Yellow Wallpaper” and marriage : is it the fault of the husband? Most people prefer to blame the husband in this story. Indeed, in the 19th century, women didn’t have much choice. However, we can see that the narrator has the power to resist the control of her husband. She doesn’t understand that she can do it.
  • The role of personification as a tool used by Charlotte Perkins Gilman . It’s a great topic for a literary analysis essay on “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Go through the story’s plot again and find out why personification is used at some moments. How does it affect the writing’s mood, and doesn’t Gilman use some other devices there?
  • Stigmatizing postpartum depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. This issue is related to feminism. Most women’s psychological problems are neglected as only being “in the head.” Miserable were those suffering postpartum depression, as one can see from the treatment plan chosen by John in the story.
  • Explore different literary devices that are used to highlight the issue of depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Analyze what the narrator writes about her state and find the literary devices that Gilman uses to relate to it. For instance, repetition points out the confusion on the one hand and hopelessness on the other.
  • Can we trust the narrator? The point of view in “The Yellow Wallpaper” plays an important role. The reader can only perceive the events through the narrator’s eyes. However, it means that some things can be not that obvious. Try to analyze the hints and symbolism to find out the missing part of the story.

❓ Top 12 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Questions

  • What is the role of creativity in the protagonist’s journey?
  • What imagery helps to convey the main character’s isolation?
  • Why does the woman in the wallpaper go in circles?
  • How does the protagonist’s mental state change throughout the story?
  • How does the main character’s confinement contribute to her mental decline?
  • In what ways does Jennie represent a patriarchal woman in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”?
  • Why does the main character hide her diary from others?
  • How does “The Yellow Wallpaper” portray the 19 th century’s cult of true womanhood?
  • Why is S. Weir Mitchel’s real name mentioned in the story?
  • How does the story challenge traditional notions of femininity and domesticity?
  • How does the setting of the nursery convey the protagonist’s sense of loss and longing?
  • How does the protagonist’s journey in ”The Yellow Wallpaper” reflect the broader feminist movement of the time?

🔍 Top 15 The Yellow Wallpaper Research Paper Topics

  • Analyze the story through the prism of male gaze.
  • The juxtaposition of logical men vs. irrational women in the story.
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Freud’s misconceptions about hysteria.
  • How Gilman’s story relates to Cixous’ ideas about écriture feminine.
  • Foucault’s Panopticon Effect as portrayed in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • Analysis of Gilman’s story through the lens of Simone de Beauvoir.
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper”: comparison to The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.
  • The wallpaper pattern as the bars of a prison constructed by society.
  • Analyze the binary opposition presented in the story through the prism of Jacques Lacan’s ideas of the Imaginary and the Symbolic orders.
  • Interpret the rhizomatic identity of the main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper” via Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of schizoanalysis.
  • How does madness liberate the main character from patriarchal concepts of femininity?
  • Daylight universe of masculinity vs. the nighttime world of imagination in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • How “The Yellow Wallpaper” had predicted the problem of “the trapped housewife” in America.
  • Internalized and shared patriarchal values in women characters from “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • How the wallpaper in the story represents the main character’s subconscious.

🎓 The Yellow Wallpaper Thesis Ideas

  • Spiritual liberation through the awakening of female consciousness in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  • Dystopian elements in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” through the lens of horror: How terror and subversion are used in the narration.
  • The color yellow in relation to psychology through the lens of Gilman’s story.
  • Comparative study of female agency in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Plath’s “The Bell Jar.”
  • Psychoanalytic perspectives on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
  • How Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” reflects the theme of a female body.
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a biography: The parallels between the protagonist’s experiences and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s struggles with mental health.
  • The rebellion against social norms in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story.
  • The analysis of John’s character and his role as husband in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  • Unreliable narration in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its effect on the reader’s perception.
  • How Gilman uses language, storytelling, and images to portray madness.
  • The suppression of creativity and artistic expression in the face of social expectations in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  • Myths and archetypes: Gilman’s story through the lens of Carl Jung’s theory.
  • The ending of Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a reflection on late 19th-century women’s mental health treatment and its implications on gendered dynamics.

✒️ The Yellow Wallpaper: Essay Samples

Below you’ll find a collection of The Yellow Wallpaper essay examples. Hope you’ll find them useful!

  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Key Themes
  • Alger’s “Ragged Dick” and Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper”
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Laugh of the Medusa”
  • Social Values and Norms in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • American Women in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Symbolism in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper: Comparison
  • Mental Illness in The Yellow Wallpaper
  • The Yellow Wallpaper and Everyday Use Literature: Comparison
  • Women Characters in Chopin’s, Gilman’s, Faulkner’s Stories
  • Isolation, Patriarchy, Materialism, and Mental Illness in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Review
  • Plots of Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Feminist “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Literary Elements in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • The Description of Wallpaper in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman
  • Color in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Perkins
  • Gender in The Great Gatsby & The Yellow Wallpaper
  • Uncovering the Wallpaper in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
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The Yellow Wallpaper Study Guide

A young woman experiences postpartum depression. Her husband (a physician) takes her on vacation to a mansion to recover by “rest cure.” She loses her mind being confined to a room with a yellow wallpaper. But what is the short story really about? “The Yellow Wallpaper” Study Guide answers this...

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The Yellow Wallpaper Characters

This article by Custom-Writing.org experts contains all the information about The Yellow Wallpaper’s characters: the narrator, John, Mary, and Jennie. At the end of the article, you’ll learn who Jane is and how she’s related to The Yellow Wallpaper’s main character. 🗺️ The Yellow Wallpaper: Character Map Below you’ll find...

The Yellow Wallpaper Themes

This article by Custom-Writing.org experts provides a wide-ranging and diverse explanation of The Yellow Wallpaper’s themes. The core issues represented in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story are gender roles, mental illness, and freedom. Although the writer speaks about her own time, these themes are just as relevant today, if not...

Symbols & Literary Devices in The Yellow Wallpaper

This article by Custom-Writing.org experts contains a comprehensive analysis of literary devices in “The Yellow Wallpaper”: color symbolism, personification, point of view used by Gilman, foreshadowing, and an explanation of the ending’s meaning. 🌈 The Yellow Wallpaper: Symbolism How unfortunate is it that a woman has a mental breakdown just...

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Symbolism in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Essay (Review)

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment

Introduction

The house in the yellow wallpaper and its symbolical interpretation, the window as a symbol in the yellow wallpaper, the yellow wallpaper as a symbol of hope, works cited, main points of the yellow wallpaper.

The basic aim of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is to reflect the oppression of women in the 19th century. Generally, while discussing the major themes of the story, it is necessary to analyze some symbolical issues, the author provides us with. Moreover, The Yellow Wallpaper allows us to consider one of the most important problems women faced in the 19th century in detail.

Thesis Statement

When reading the story, it becomes evident that Gilman was deeply concerned about the role of women as well as the psychological pressure they experienced. For this reason, one can make a conclusion that Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is to be analyzed based on symbolical interpretations the author wanted her readers to become familiar with.

In my opinion, nobody will deny the fact that the protagonist’s oppression in The Yellow Wallpaper is depicted symbolically. For instance, one can notice that Gilman uses such complex symbols as the parts of the house, in order to reflect the psychological state of the main character. Thus, on the one hand, the house the main character lives in can be associated with a desire to become free; however, on the other hand, it is evident that the protagonist cannot avoid a cruel reality.

If one analyzes the short story deeper, he or she can probably conclude that the house reflects the process of transformation a woman experiences. In other words, the house can be regarded as the so-called symbol of self-expression. However, the protagonist’s phrase, which cannot be neglected, is “There is something strange about the house” (Gilman p. 1).

Taking into account the woman’s worldview, it becomes evident that the principal character cannot feel safe, as she is afraid of changes. The adjective strange is related not to the house, but the protagonist’s expectations and hopes. The author shows that a woman’s metamorphosis is unavoidable; however, being under constant oppressions too long, the main character cannot accept changes she experiences so fast.

The window the author depicts in her story is also of particular importance, as this symbol can also be regarded ambiguously. On the one hand, the window seems to express a woman’s potential; however, taking into consideration the fact that a woman is afraid of looking through it, one can probably conclude that the window is the protagonist’s reflection. The main character does not want to accept her true personality, as she understands what a miserable creature she can see.

For her, an opportunity to look through the window is accepted as real torture, because there she can see other women, who are the same, who must creep, to stay a part of the society. Hochman believes that “Gilman’s nameless protagonist enters an action-filled world that she creates by inference from a printed design. As a result, her depression and despair are temporarily dispelled” (par. 5).

Finally, the yellow wallpaper should be regarded as a symbol of hope. Looking at the color, the protagonist feels safe. At the same time, the main character understands that the image in the wallpaper is considered to be a reflection of unhappy women who must creep to be a part of society.

According to Gretchen Lynn Greene, “The Yellow Wallpaper is just one of many stories that Gilman wrote that dealt with women trying to attain their freedom from something or someone” (par. 5). For this reason, one can conclude that the author depicted the burning problem of the 19th century.

Gilman, Charlotte. The Yellow Wallpaper, Small & Maynard, Boston: MA, 1899. Print.

Greene, Gretchen. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” n. d. Web.

Hochman, Barbara. The Reading Habit and The Yellow Wallpaper, 2002. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2018, June 21). Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman/

"Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." IvyPanda , 21 June 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman/.

IvyPanda . (2018) 'Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman'. 21 June.

IvyPanda . 2018. "Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." June 21, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman/.

1. IvyPanda . "Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." June 21, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." June 21, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman/.

Paul Reubens’ Real-Life Playhouse in Los Feliz Now Available for $5M

( Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Realtor.com )

Paul Reubens’ Real-Life Playhouse in Los Feliz Now Available for $5M

Pee-wee Herman’s real-life playhouse is now available for $4,995,000.

According to the Wall Street Journal , the midcentury home of actor Paul Reubens , famous for his TV show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” is for sale for the first time in almost 40 years.

The comedian and star of the popular kids’ show from the 1980s picked up the Los Angeles home in 1985 for just $415,000, according to Realtor.com®. Reubens died of cancer in 2023. He was 70.

“It’s a piece of Hollywood history,” says listing agent Juliette Hohnen , of Douglas Elliman.

The 1.4-acre lot in the Los Feliz area is on a promontory with 360-degree views of canyons and the city, including Griffith Park Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign.

thesis of yellow wallpaper

(Realtor.com)

thesis of yellow wallpaper

The one-story ranch home is at the end of a private road in the Oaks neighborhood. It features trademark elements of the era, including walls of windows and sliding glass doors that open to a patio and yard.

Reubens added vintage wallpaper in the bar area, bright yellow Formica countertops in the kitchen, and an enclosed cat patio to the house.

“It’s a very lovely, very quirky, but also supercool house,” Hohnen says.

The three-bedroom, 2.5-bath abode has 2,921 square feet of living space with lovely views from almost every room.

The living room features walls of windows and sliding glass doors, which open to a patio with a pool and spa. The cozy den has the built-in wet bar as well as a fireplace.

In the kitchen, there’s more vintage wallpaper, a built-in breakfast nook, and a pantry with a laundry room.

Two guest rooms share a bathroom, while the primary suite comes with a dressing area, sitting room, and bath that opens to the cat patio.

thesis of yellow wallpaper

Outside, there are walking trails and wildlife.

“It’s what everybody in L.A. wants, which is a midcentury with views,” Hohnen says of the home.

Reubens created the iconic character Pee-wee Herman and rose to stardom after the Tim Burton –directed movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” in 1985. He went on to star in a movie sequel and an Emmy award-winning TV show, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Reubens was arrested and charged with indecent exposure in 1991 . He pleaded no contest. He later moved into acting roles on shows such as “Murphy Brown” and eventually reprised his Pee-wee character for a Netflix special in 2016.

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COMMENTS

  1. The Yellow Wallpaper Essay

    The Yellow Wallpaper Thesis Statement Examples 📜. Here are five examples of strong thesis statements for your essay: 1. "In 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' Charlotte Perkins Gilman portrays the damaging effects of the patriarchy on women's mental health, highlighting the need for autonomy and self-expression." 2.

  2. What is a thesis statement for "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte

    A thesis statement for "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman could be that the author criticizes the sexist practices of the 19th-century medical community, which largely excluded women from ...

  3. Thesis for The Yellow Wallpaper

    Thesis for The Yellow Wallpaper. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a powerful and thought-provoking work of literature that has captivated readers for decades. Through the story of a woman's descent into madness, Gilman explores the themes of gender roles, mental illness, and the oppressive nature of patriarchal society.

  4. 114 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics & Examples

    In your essay on The Yellow Wallpaper, you might want to make a character or theme analysis.The key themes of the story are freedom of expression, gender roles and feminism, and mental illness. Another idea is to write an argumentative essay on the story's historical context.

  5. The Yellow Wallpaper: Essay Examples

    Here you'll find a heap of excellent ideas for The Yellow Wallpaper essay. Absolutely free research paper and essay samples on The Great Gatsby are collected here, on one page. We will write a custom essay specifically. for you for only 11.00 9.35/page. 808 certified writers online.

  6. A Summary and Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

    By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) 'The Yellow Wallpaper', an 1892 short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, has the structure and style of a diary. This is in keeping with what the female narrator tells us: that she can only write down her experiences when her husband John is not around, since he has forbidden….

  7. Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper: Summary and Analysis

    The Yellow Wallpaper Summary. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is one of the defining works of feminist literature. Writing about a woman's health, mental or physical, was considered a radical act at the time that Perkins Gilman wrote this short story. Writing at all about the lives of women was considered at best, frivolous, and at worst dangerous.

  8. The Yellow Wallpaper Critical Essays

    SOURCE: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "Why I Wrote 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" In The Captive Imagination: A Casebook on "The Yellow Wallpaper," edited by Catherine Golden, pp. 51-53. New ...

  9. The Yellow Wallpaper Essays and Further Analysis

    In "The Yellow Wallpaper," which was, in part, a reaction to the oppression of women prevalent during this time, Gilman emphasized these beliefs. In 1926, she stated, regarding her work in general ...

  10. Analysis of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by C. Perkins Gilman

    Catherine Sustana. Updated on March 29, 2020. Like Kate Chopin's " The Story of an Hour ," Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a mainstay of feminist literary study. First published in 1892, the story takes the form of secret journal entries written by a woman who is supposed to be recovering from what her husband, a physician ...

  11. Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper: Themes & Symbols Essay

    Introduction. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an intriguing story of a sick woman, Charlotte Perkins, confined in a room for treatment by her husband, a physician. We will write a custom essay on your topic. Charlotte is suffering from neurasthenia. Cared by his overprotective physician husband, but instead treats the ...

  12. Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-Paper

    First published in New England Magazine in January 1892, and reprinted by Small, Maynard and Company as a chapbook (1899), "The Yellow Wall-Paper" is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's most famous work. Depicting the nervous breakdown of a young wife and mother, the story is a potent example of psychological realism. Based loosely on Gilman's own experiences…

  13. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: an analysis

    This analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) highlights a long short story (or short novella) considered a feminist literary classic. This story starts with a mystery: the house seems to have "something queer about it." As we read on, it becomes clear that the house is not the only thing strange about this story.

  14. Literary Analysis: The Yellow Wallpaper

    "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a captivating and thought-provoking short story that delves into the complexities of mental illness, gender inequality, and societal expectations. Written in the late 19th century, the story remains relevant today and continues to spark discussions about the human psyche and the societal constraints placed on individuals, particularly women.

  15. The Yellow Wallpaper

    The Yellow Wallpaper, short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in New England Magazine in May 1892 and in book form in 1899. The Yellow Wallpaper, initially interpreted as a Gothic horror tale, was considered the best as well as the least-characteristic work of fiction by Gilman. An

  16. The Yellow Wallpaper Themes

    Alongside its exploration of mental illness, The Yellow Wallpaper offers a critique of traditional gender roles as they were defined during the late nineteenth century, the time in which the story is set and was written. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent feminist, who rejected the trappings of traditional domestic life and published extensively about the role of women in society, and ...

  17. The Yellow Wallpaper Study Guide

    Full Title: The Yellow Wallpaper When Written: June, 1890 Where Written: California When Published: May, 1892 Literary Period: Gothic Genre: Short story; Gothic horror; Feminist literature Setting: Late nineteenth century, in a colonial mansion that has been rented for the summer. Most of the story's action takes place in a room at the top of the house that is referred to as the "nursery."

  18. The Yellow Wallpaper Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

    38 essay samples found. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a seminal piece of feminist literature, explores themes of mental illness, patriarchal oppression, and female autonomy. Essays could delve into the narrative structure, the symbolism of the wallpaper, and the psychological descent of the protagonist.

  19. 62 Essay Topics on The Yellow Wallpaper

    715. Welcome to The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics page prepared by our editorial team! Here you will find an extensive list of essay ideas on the short story! Literary analysis, themes, comparison, characters, & more. Get inspired to write your own essay! We will write a custom essay specifically. for you for only 11.00 9.35/page.

  20. The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics & Samples

    However, if you don't want to spend too much time on it, jump straight away to our list of topics for "The Yellow Wallpaper" essays. 💡 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics. The meaning of the story's title. "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a horror story. Representation of madness in the story. The significance of the unnamed narrator.

  21. Symbolism in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

    The Yellow Wallpaper as a Symbol of Hope. Finally, the yellow wallpaper should be regarded as a symbol of hope. Looking at the color, the protagonist feels safe. At the same time, the main character understands that the image in the wallpaper is considered to be a reflection of unhappy women who must creep to be a part of society.

  22. Paul Reubens' Real-Life Playhouse in Los Feliz Now Available for $5M

    Reubens added vintage wallpaper in the bar area, bright yellow Formica countertops in the kitchen, and an enclosed cat patio to the house. "It's a very lovely, very quirky, but also supercool ...