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Donostia Book Club

My name is Slawka Grabowska. I organize Donostia Book Club. We meet every month to discuss previously chosen books or short stories. Check out our FB page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donostia-Book-Club/105225566276875?ref=hl

´The Yellow Wallpaper´ (1892)

The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elaine Hedges

In less than a week we will discuss at the book club meeting Charlotte Perkins Gilman's ¨Herland¨. Before that I strongly recommend you to read her wonderful semi-autobiographical short story ¨The Yellow Wallpaper¨.


You can read it online: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/literatureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf


Or listen to the dramatized version on Vimeo:



 “There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!”

The story is told in the first person narrative. We witness the descent into madness of a young middle-class woman and her treatment by a neglectful husband-doctor. One can gather insight into the issues of marriage, divorce, patriarchal oppression of and medical treatment of women in the 19th century. 

Gilman  almost 20 years later, in 1913, said about that part of her life:

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia-and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still good physique responded so promptly that he concluded that there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to `live as domestic a life as possible,’ to `have but two hours’ intelligent life a day,’ and `never to touch pen, brush or pencil again’ as long as I lived.”


I hope you enjoy the story!


(quotes from the biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc. 2006., Forum Discussions on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, http://www.online-literature.com/charlotte-perkins-gilman/)