“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: How an Environment Invades the Mind

Let’s create a scenario inside your head. All you gotta do is respond to these questions inside your head.

Does your room have a wallpaper?

If YesIf No
Do you love that wallpaper? What would the perfect design of that wallpaper be?
If you answered yes: Lucky you! Not everybody has that luxury. Now move onto reading the rest of this table because these senarios are enough to spook the mind.

If answered no: Why don’t you love that wallpaper? Is it the patterns? Is it the colors? Have you done anything to get rid of it?
Now what if that idea of the perfect wallpaper wasn’t given to. What would you do?

What if you have to live in a room where you have the most ugliest wallpaper you’ve ever seen?

Now imagine living in 1892, as a white woman, diagnosed with temporary nervous depression, and having to be treated for a mental illness in a room with a bed nailed to the floor, a scratched floor, and this wallpaper in your

I don’t know about you, but this wallpaper is so ugly and terrifying that it would probably cause many nightmares. To me, this wallpaper looks terrifying because it’s damaged to the point that it tells a story. A story that I don’t want to know where those damages come from.

This short story tackles that idea.

Where to read this short story:

If this short story were a coffee

If this short story were a coffee drink, it would be an Americano. It would be an Americano because the espresso of the story is so strong, one would have to add hot water to be able to swallow and comprehend the short story.


This short story is a detailed compilation of the narrator’s time while being in rest cure for her depression during the 1890s. During this time, the narrator would be forced to sleep in a bedroom and rest in hopes that her depression would go away. The narrator understand her mental illness knows that she must rest to cure herself of her depression, but one thing she cannot stand is that wallpaper.

The narrator details the wallpaper through out the story and fully believes that there is a woman behind that wallpaper. She constantly is seeing the women standing, creeping over her, behind bars, or even out to get her. She does not like that wallpaper at all and she asks her husband to get rid of that wallpaper, but he denies on replacing the wallpaper when it’s only a rental home.

This short story shows insight on mental illnesses and how one’s environment makes one mad, just like in the end of the story the narrator rips the wallpaper off.

In a nutshell:

In a nutshell, this short story is about a rich, privledged woman, who has a mental illness and goes crazy in end, because of a yellow wallpaper.

Video Sypnosis:

What to Expect:

  • Horror.
    This short story sure is frightening for how the narrator details the woman who lives behind the wallpaper. What I found interesting throughout the story is how the wallpaper becomes the narrator’s companion. Although she does go out the garden, she spends many hours in her room with the wallpaper. That woman almost becomes her friend as she’s always looking forward until dark, because that’s the hour when she see’s the woman pop out of the wallpaper.

The front pattern DOES move—and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it!

  • A husband who is, “Practical in the extreme.”
    The narrator’s husband is a physician who believes that she can cure herself, and does not listen to his wife’s concerns. One thing for sure is that he sure does care for her, in his own way. He reads her stories, he supports her getting better by constantly telling her that she must do the work to get herself better.

“My darling,” said he, “I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake, as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?”

John, “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Favorite Quotes:

I used to lie awake as a child and get more entertainment and terror out of blank walls and plain furniture than most children could find in a toy store.

At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be.

By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still. It is so puzzling. It keeps me quiet by the hour.

Have you read this short story? Comment below your thoughts!