Book Reviews

The Yellow Wallpaper | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Mental Health Awareness

  • Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Paperback: 34 pages
  • Language: English

Book Review (1)

There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.

How does this line make you feel? Do you find it relatable? If yes, you know why. If no, I am slightly worried. You haven’t been able to figure out your way to the admission of your problem which is nothing but sad. I, for once, can certainly vouch for a fact that our minds are caves and only we know what goes into its existence. The chaos, the muddle, the ever-pervasive clatter, the crisis – so much goes in our heads, day in and day out. And it is devastating if you are not even aware of it. Because the solution to anything follows the admission of it.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a book beyond its time, depicting worsening mental health in an excellent manner. Our unnamed protagonist is a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Her husband doesn’t find anything wrong with her, does not care enough to acknowledge her problem, but makes sure to say her to take rest. But rest, for what? He doesn’t know. He never tried to find it out. The woman, on the other hand, battles with everything going inside of her. The growing pitch of noise is gnawing at her insides. And the same noise beckons her to fall into a null.

She cannot do what she loves. She is asked not to write. The well-wishers ask her to refrain from expressing. That is not healthy. So, she keeps quiet and only looks at the wallpaper.

She lives in isolation, in a room with yellow wallpaper, to cure herself. Cure herself of what? Nobody asks. Nobody knows. Except her. She stays there, devoid of conversations, and barred of interactions. She is suffocated. She just talks to herself as she observes the changing patterns of wallpaper. Do you think an inanimate thing can change its shape or pattern? Well, our protagonist was sharp enough to spot the impossible. She is mad. She is pushed to the edge. The monotony takes the better of her, the ignorance takes the better of her, the conflict between silence around and uproar within takes the better of her.

Insanity crawls up to her. Insanity slithers inside her. Insanity sucks her. Before her husband comes to draw a response from her, she is gone. In the wilderness. She is no more of herself, might never be.

Buy your copy here: The Yellow Wallpaper

3 thoughts on “The Yellow Wallpaper | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Mental Health Awareness

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this 🙂 I recently completed my undergrad dissertation on women who were placed in mental hospitals, and I wanted to read this as soon as I read about it! I’ll have to check it out soon

    Liked by 1 person

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