Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Gilman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gilman. Show all posts

07 January, 2013

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

I re-read Gilman's story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," because I was trying to remember if it was told in first-person or third. It is first person and present tense which gives it an immediacy and the reader a sense of being in the room with the narrator. It is an amazing story with the perfect pacing of the narrator's descent. Also, the way in which the husband's controlling nature is conveyed is well-done. And, I must say with this reading, the story struck me as an absolute horror for the wife, that I had somewhat forgotten. The wife was stifled and trapped and held hostage in an upstairs room in a rented house for the summer.

"The Yellow Wall-Paper" was first published in New England Magazine, 1892, in response to Gilman's real-life likely post-partum depression and the complete "rest" prescription give to her by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell who is referred to in the story. "John says if I don't pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall." Women feeling like Gilman did were told to avoid intellectual pursuits and keep their children next to them at all times.

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