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The narrator is horrified by it. She studies the incomprehensible pattern in the wallpaper, determined to make sense of it. But rather than making sense of it, she begins to discern a second pattern—that of a woman creeping furtively around behind the first pattern, which acts a prison for her.

The Yellow Wallpaper (Summary & Analysis)

The first pattern of the wallpaper can be seen as the societal expectations that hold women like the narrator captive. The narrator's recovery will be measured by how cheerfully she resumes her domestic duties as wife and mother, and her desire to do anything else—like write—is seen to interfere with that recovery.

The Yellow Wallpaper

Though the narrator studies and studies the pattern in the wallpaper, it never makes any sense to her. Similarly, no matter how hard she tries to recover, the terms of her recovery—embracing her domestic role—never make any sense to her, either. The creeping woman can represent both victimizations by the societal norms and resistance to them. This creeping woman also gives a clue about why the first pattern is so troubling and ugly. It seems to be peppered with distorted heads with bulging eyes—the heads of other creeping women who were strangled by the pattern when they tried to escape it.

That is, women who couldn't survive when they tried to resist cultural norms. Gilman writes that "nobody could climb through that pattern—it strangles so. Eventually, the narrator becomes a "creeping woman. The narrator writes, "[T]here are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. That her shoulder "just fits" into the groove on the wall is sometimes interpreted to mean that she has been the one ripping the paper and creeping around the room all along. But it could also be interpreted as an assertion that her situation is no different from that of many other women. In this interpretation, "The Yellow Wallpaper" becomes not just a story about one woman's madness, but a maddening system.

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Seven charming tales explore relations between the sexes and offer witty insights from a feminist perspective. Includes the title classic, plus "Cottagette," "Turned," "Mr. Peebles' Heart," and more.

Best known for the title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here.

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Gilman, Charlotte Perkins

Peebles' Heart," a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; "The Yellow Wallpaper" ; and three other outstanding stories. These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humor and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women - and how they might be improved.

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Nov 28, ISBN Oct 01, ISBN Jun 27, ISBN The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver.

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This edition of her work includes her best-known story, "The Yellow Wall-paper," a terrifying tale about a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the "rest cure" she is ordered to follow by her doctor to relieve her postpartum depression. Also included is a wide range of other short stories; an abridged version of her little-known but brilliant utopian novel, Herland, about a peaceful all-female world; and selections from her landmark treatise, Women and Economics, first published in to universal acclaim.

Known primarily for her classic and haunting story "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an enormously influential American feminist and sociologist. Her early-twentieth-century writings continue to inspire writers and activists today. This collection includes selections from both her fiction and nonfiction work.