#BookadayUK - Day 4

The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elaine Hedges


The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman (click link to read it)

First published in 1892, The Yellow Wall-Paper is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper – a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, The Yellow Wall-Paper stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.”

This one gave me goosebumps on so many levels. I first read this when I was about 14 years old and getting into all things Gothic, and I loved the creeping sense of menace. But then when I re-read it a couple of years later, I got goosebumps from realizing this short, but powerful story was based on the author’s own experience of how women with post-natal depression were treated.