“The Yellow Wallpaper”

Our published work for our next MUG meeting is called “The Yellow Wallpaper“. It was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late 1880s and published for the first time in 1891. The story is told from the point of view of a woman slowly descending into the depths of madness, brought on by forced inactivity and an insipid pattern in some hideous wallpaper.

In reading about why Gilman wrote the story, we find that she very nearly took the same path, and for some of the same reasons. We’ve all heard the admonition to ‘write what you know’; in this case, that’s a bit frightening.

Questions to ask yourself as you read this story:

1) The narrator describes the characters around her – especially her husband – fairly clearly. How does the writer give us insight into the narrator’s character?

2) How does Gilman use writing style and prose to emphasize the narrator’s burgeoning insanity?

3) What emotional responses does the story invoke from you, the reader, and what parts struck particular chords?

I look forward to hearing your comments on this story.



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