The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health. Presented in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house he has rented for the summer.
She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal from him, so she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in that period.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle.
Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper", which she wrote after a severe bout of post-partum depression.
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