Tuesday, 12 April 2011
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman ( Short Story)
This morning while doing a random book search on line I stumbled upon this short story, the title seemed familiar, I had seen it somewhere or heard of it from somewhere. First published January 1892 in the New England Magazine
it is a remarkable short story.
I must admit that it was the intriguing title that first grabbed my attention and I now think it is one of the best shorts that I have ever read. It tells the story, in diary form, of a woman who has been "rested" by her husband following the birth of her child. Trapped in a creepy old house and monitored and controlled by her husband she slowly loses grip on reality and develops a bizarre obsession with her bedroom wallpaper !
There are many ways to read this story depending on your viewpoint. Many see it as a striking analogy about feminism and that's a viewpoint which I can't deny but there are so many different layers to this story, just like the wallpaper itself.
Did Charlotte write this book as an attack against feminism or against her own ex husband or as an attack on her own medical diagnosis ?
I am not really sure, but I think that's why this short is so captivating.
Amazing really. Short stories don't come better than this in my opinion.
If you haven't already read it, you can here,
The Yellow Wallpaper