The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
★★★ — 50%
I remember reading some crazy awesome reviews about The Yellow Wall-Paper a few years ago, talking about its beautiful writing, important message, and general amazingness. HAHA OK, no.
There were good parts. There were bad parts. (I am a philosopher and I am profound, yes.)
- The book was so short that “book” isn’t the right word
- Not like I’m complaining: short is good. Short is nice and friendly and rainbowy and I’m a fan.
- What was that ending
- I mean WHAT ???
- The writing was actually really pretty—the reviews got that much right!
- Maybe the fact that I liked John played into the reason why I didn’t see this as a cautionary tale
- Because what did he do???
- Did I miss something???
- JK my brain just decided to remember something he did and YEAH, he’s no saint
- (But he wasn’t evil either? Poor misinformed mortal. I have pity.)
- It wasn’t horrifying, but it was unsettling
- Did the main character have a name???
- I can’t remember if she did and I also can’t decide if I find this weird or super duper cool
- In case you weren’t already clued in, this is a story about a woman going mad, from her perspective, so…yes.
- I’m sure you can imagine the level of weirdness that created, and if you can’t, head on out and read The Yellow Wall-Paper. We’ll chat about it.
(My edition of The Yellow Wall-Paper also included two other short stories, The Rocking-Chair and Old Water. I read them both and I only liked/was amused by/didn’t want to destroy one. OH DEAR ME.)
I feel good about giving The Yellow Wall-Paper 3 stars, but only 3 stars. Which is probably why this review is a mess and 3 star reviews should all just run to Greenland NOW.
In the end, TYWP was strange and semi-freaky but still amusing and semi-good. It kept my attention for two whole days, too. (MY ATTENTION SPAN HAS BEEN CONQUERED! YES!) Gothic fiction is taking a while for me to get into, and I’d definitely have enjoyed The Yellow Wall-Paper more if I enjoyed gothic fiction more, but for now this is as generous as I want to get.