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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Unabridged Edition

78 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486298573
ISBN-10: 0486298574
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Best known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than 200 other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here.
Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include "turned," an ironic story with a startling twist, in which a husband seduces and impregnates a naïve servant; "Cottagette," concerning the romance of a young artist and a man who's apparently too good to be true; "Mr. Peebles' Heart," a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; "The Yellow Wallpaper"; and three other outstanding stories.
These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humor and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women—and how they might be improved.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486298574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486298573
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By hermione31 on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Gilman's novel is even more relevant today than when it was first printed. More than merely a narrative of female intellectual oppression or a critique of late 19th century social mores, "The Yellow Wallpaper" documents a practice that was common among the middle and upper class. Known as the "rest cure," women who displayed signs of depression or anxiety were committed to lie in bed for weeks at a time, and allowed no more than twenty minutes of intellectual exertion a day. Believing that intellectual activity would overwhelm the fragile female mind, "rest cure" refers to the prevention of women from thinking, relying on the assumption that the natural state of the female mind was one of emptiness. Seeing as how the women were confined to empty rooms with no exercise or stimulation of any kind, the obvious consequence was that the women became still more anxious, which reinforced the convictions of the doctors and husbands that their wives needed further rest.
The "rest cure" was prescribed most commonly to women who had recently given birth. Suffering from what we now know is post-partem depression (caused by hormonal fluctuations of seratonin that result from the female body adjusting to not having a fetus to delivering hormones to), women were locked up and kept from seeing their newly born children.
Gilman's book, therefore, is not only an American literary classic, but it also provides insight into America's social history; a history which will not be forgotten as long as people continue to carefully read this psychologically wrought story.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Yellow Wallpaper and other stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a wonderful compilation of feminist short stories. The first story, The Yellow Wallpaper reminds us, even today, that a woman who allows herself to become dominated to the point where her talents are suppresed can made herself a prisoner of her own creativity. The protagonist,much like Gilman, has a "nervous disorder." Unlike Gilman, who wrote her way out of the "disorder" the "wife" is not allowed to write and thus must sneak her writing, much like an alcoholic. Eventually, the wallpaper invades her space to the point of madness. Other stories point up other women's issues, such as Three Thanksgivings, in which the women save themselves via a business adventure, which is similar to Making a Change, in which a mother's anxiety and depression are alleviated by following her true creative urges and an older woman's losses are alleviated by her ability to nurture. The Cottagette was a light-hearted romp into the problems women create for themselves and how a too-good-to-be-true suitor helps out his beloved. Turned is an interesting story of what happens when a man makes a wrong move in the presence of a strong woman! Last but not least, Mr. Peebles Heart is an interesting story of a fiftyish shopkeeper. For $1.00, this book is a highly recommended find for those that enjoy feminist literature. I happen to be one of those so I have given it a "10."END
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tessa Eydmann on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This story beautifully presented an issue that even in this day and age remains rife. Gillmore expressed the suffocation and frustration that women feel in a male dominated world. There is no pretention in her tale and no arrogance, but only quiet rebellion against a system that places one genda above the other. It's a sinister story, heavy with metaphors and symbolism, yet there's a gentle sadness in her writing, which would remind one of a trapped animal who is close to surrendering to it's captivity. A fascinating story, and worth reading whether you agree with her views or not. Personally, her views seem extremely valid to me, as she adresses an issue that has always been present in society, and still remains today, in the new century.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By ADRIENNE MILLER on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Yellow Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman is one of the most fascinating short reads ever. I was assigned to read this classic gem in my literature class in College and I couldn't believe how well this short story was written. The book is in first person, it feels like a diary, very personal, intimate, and scary all at the same time. The ending is bone-chilling and brilliant. Gillman is some writer, why haven't I heard about this amazing book before? Wonderful, insightful quick read, a must have for literary fans.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (Feminist Press edition, 1973)

One of the best things about this small volume is that there's good deal of biographical and context information in the back. The story itself, already creepy enough on its own, takes on added weight when tied in to various minor details in Gilman's life. The biographer notes at one point that of Gilman's many writings, the only ones to survive in print at the time were this story and a textbook, Women and Economics. While this is certainly an above-average piece of work, there are a number of things about it that make it easy to see why less gripping tales in Gilman's corpus might have fallen by the wayside.

The main annoyance of Gilman's writing style is the constant paragraph breaks, a longstanding (and, one wonders, is there any reason behind it besides tradition?) affectation of what we'll call euphemistically erotic novelists. Really, subtlety is a good thing. While we're at it, the story would be more effective with half, or less, the number of existing exclamation points. The only parallel I can think of these days, stylewise, is the chatter of vacuous fourteen-year-old girls mooning over the Backstreet Boys. It gets painful after a while.

Annoyances of grammar aside, the story itself is quite a work. It purports to be the diary of a woman descending into madness thanks to, in essence, being treated like a woman in nineteenth-century America (the story itself dates from 1899). One wonders if H. P. Lovecraft didn't lift some of his descriptions of raw chaos from Gilman's descriptions of the wallpaper in the title, which is about the closest thing to raw chaos one is likely to find outside a straight horror story.
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