The Yellow Wall-Paper Was Really Just About Yellow Wall-Paper

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.
  • 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.)


final thoughts

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.