The Yellow Wallpaper

Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

-Born July 3rd, 1860

-Published "The Yellow Wallpaper" in 1892

-Was a feminist and social reformer

-Committed suicide August 17th, 1935

Characters in "The Yellow Wallpaper"

  • The Narrator
  • John
  • Jennie
  • Mary
  • Woman in the wallpaper

Characters in description

Quick Summary

The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story based on the point of view of a mentally ill woman who was moved out into the country to an old house by her husband. Her husband was a doctor and decided that he knew what was best for his wife, so he controlled everything that she did. He also didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the woman. When they arrived at the house, the narrator hated it instantly. She said that it smelled weird and was horrible. Though the author took a liking to one of the more spacious and beautiful rooms, her husband confined her to a small room with ugly yellow wallpaper. The wallpaper began to move and change as the narrator spent more time in the room. She tried to make sense of the patterns but seemed to get lost of in the disucting paper. The narrator tried to tell her husband about it, but he once again decided to just blow it off as nothing. After this, the narrator saw a woman behind the paper. She always seemed to be moving and creeping behind the wall, trapped behind bars. At nighttime, the woman would bang on the walls, trying to free herself, but seemed to never have a chance at freedom. During the day, the woman was still and did not move. At the end of the story, the narrator locked herself in the room with the yellow wallpaper and tore all of it off of the walls. She also threw the key to the door outside. When her husband came home, she told him to retrieve the key, and when the narrator's husband came into the room, his wife was creeping around. The husband then fainted and the narrator continued to creep, mumbling how she wouldn’t get back into the wall ever again.