Bookish Witch

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Boob blurb:

Narrated in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband (John) has rented an old mansion for the summer. Forgoing other rooms in the house, the couple moves into the upstairs nursery. As a form of treatment, the unnamed woman is forbidden from working, and is encouraged to eat well and get plenty of air, so she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency”, a diagnosis common to women during that period.

In this book you could find:

  • Great literary speeches
  • First person narrated
  • Suspense thriller

Genre: Fiction/Psychological thriller

Pages: 30

Format: Kindle ebook/Paperback

My Ratings: 4.3/5

The plight of women, patriarchy and mental health have always been shrugged off. The protagonist and her husband move to a mansion in which the female lead finds the wallpaper of their new bedroom, highly disturbing. Despite her constant pleas, her husband says it’s nothing to worry about. Is the wallpaper really haunted or is it something else altogether? Read this monologue to understand the plight of women in the 19th century.

What I liked about the book:
–> Through the monologue and first person narration, we witness the protagonist’s helplessness in the imprisonment of her house and her marriage.
–> Though the book was written in 1890s, some of the things like the plight of women, patriarchy and our attitude towards mental health, still feel so relevant.
–> It is a brilliant study of a woman slowly losing her mind.
–>It might not be a brilliant story but it will definitely provoke you to ask hidden questions which are always lying in the back of your mind.
–> It’s a fascinating read because the readers are able to look at what it’s like to be inside the brain of someone suffering from post-natal depression and psychosis.
–> It is a (semi) biographical story of the author herself, which is just another reason to read the book and then probably have discussions on what led her to such a miserable state of mind.
–> The writing is so brilliant that we feel trapped inside the house and that room too!

What I did not like about the book:
–> The edition that I read seems to be incomplete. I’m going to hunt down and read the original one now!!

Quotable quotes:
–>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?
–>Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over.
–>It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw—not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.
–>One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions… a smouldering unclean yellow.
–>He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try.

Buying details:

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