Summary of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gillman
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Gillman tells a story of a woman, her husband, and their three month stay at a beautiful home with hideous yellow wallpaper in the master bedroom. The story begins with the woman’s complaints to her husband John about his choice to use the room with the yellow wallpaper instead of one with roses on the window being denied because he felt it would be good for her “nervous condition”. The woman thought that there was something strange about the house but John told her that her feelings were mere nonsense and that she should get plenty of rest during their stay to try and help her condition. He told her that she should also stay away from her love of writing while he is away treating his patients because it would be too stressful for her condition. During John’s frequent absences the woman begins to obsess over the yellow wallpaper, even going as far as to stare at it all night. The woman began to hallucinate about a lady being trapped within the wallpaper after dark and creeping around the garden by day. Her husband thought she was getting better when all that was occurring was his wife was going crazy trying not to bother him. The woman spoke of a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes staring at you upside down. By the end of the story the woman barricaded herself in the master bedroom, ripping down wallpaper in a desperate attempt to free the lady that creeps in the garden by day and is trapped in the walls at night. The purpose of the story is to show how both men and women should have a purpose in society.
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