Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wall-paper

(452 words)
  • Denise Knight (SUNY, Cortland)

First published in New England Magazine in January 1892, and reprinted by Small, Maynard, & Co. 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 Yellow Wall-Paper 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.” John forbids his wife to engage in work of any …

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Knight, Denise. "The Yellow Wall-paper". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]