The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Gilman ~ Tuesday's Short Story of the Week

From the Desk of Steve Mortell

YellowWallpaperCharlottePerkinsGilmanherlandWhen most people think of a horror story authors that might come to mind are Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe. These men practically invented the modern day horror novel or short story for that matter. Their stories often include gruesome deaths, insane plot twists and the occasional police confession at the end. Although these major plot points often define the genre, recently I came across a terrifying tale that strays from the normal conventions and in doing so, is able to create a very spooky ghost story.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a unique tale of terror that explores a different perspective pertaining to a ghost story. The story was written in 1892 and seeing that Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent feminist in her time the story can be read as an allegory for feminist views pertaining to the domestic housewife. None the less “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be read as a spooky psychological thriller. The story follows an unnamed narrator who is described as a newly married woman who has just moved into a new house. The story begins with one creative woman’s plight as she is slowly forced into domestication. The story takes a rather unique turn when the narrator is described as psychologically unstable.

""The Yellow Wallpaper" is considered by many to be Gilman's best work of fiction. Gilman wrote the short story while she was on bed rest for her depression"~ Machella Caldwell UNC

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 2.21.26 PMWith a constantly occupied husband, a new house, and new born baby the narrator struggles to express her creativity or freedom, how ever you want to call it, as her husband is shown disapproving of her art. In rebellion she keeps a secret journal, which is the bulk of the “The Yellow Wallpaper”’s narration. Within her private journal readers become aware that the narrator’s sense of reality begins to slowly slip. In her various hallucinations the narrator becomes obsessed with one room’s odd yellow wallpaper. As much as I would like to spoil this fantastic stories ending for you, I'll save you the grief and allow you to read this tale yourself. I will leave you with this though, the last few pages of this story are not for the faint of heart but it is definitely worth the read if you are a fan of horror fiction.