Short Story Saturday #16 The Yellow Wall-Paper
Short Story Saturday #16
The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I decided to resurrect this meme, since I got a shiny new graphic for it.
Welcome to Short Story Saturday, where I find books 100 pages or less on Amazon that are both self-published/small press published and worth reading, which means you’ll only see mini-reviews of 3 stars and up on this feature! If you know of an awesome short story (can be your own), send me an email. If I like it, then I’ll post it on Short Story Saturday.
The Yellow Wall-Paper is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper – a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, The Yellow Wall-Paper stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.
My thoughts: I came across this book in a discussion about female horror writers. Since it was a free from Amazon (and still is!), I downloaded it, read it, and it managed to creep me out more in 40 pages than most books do in 300. The Yellow Wallpaper is a psychological horror and it’s a little confusing at first, since it is written in first person. As the narrator becomes more and more detached from normalcy, the book’s path becomes more clear, and the horror builds.
At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, [the wallpaper] becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be.
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