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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Audiobook is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature for its illustration of the attitudes towards mental and physical health of women in the 19th century.
Narrated in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has rented an old mansion for the summer. Forgoing other rooms in the house, the couple moves into the upstairs nursery. As a form of treatment, the husband forbids the unnamed woman from working or writing and encourages her to eat well and get plenty of air so that she can recuperate from what he calls a "temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency", a common diagnosis in women at the time.
The story describes a young woman and her husband. He imposes a rest cure on her when she suffers "temporary nervous depression" after the birth of their baby. They spend the summer at a colonial mansion, where the narrator is largely confined to an upstairs nursery. The story makes striking use of an unreliable narrator in order to gradually reveal the degree to which her husband has "imprisoned" her due to her physical and mental condition: she describes torn wallpaper, barred windows, metal rings in the walls, a floor "scratched and gouged and splintered," a bed bolted to the floor, and a gate at the top of the stairs, but blames all these on children who must have resided there.
The narrator devotes many journal entries to describing the wallpaper in the room – its "sickly" color, its "yellow" smell, its bizarre and disturbing pattern like "an interminable string of toadstools, budding and sprouting in endless convolutions," its missing patches, and the way it leaves yellow smears on the skin and clothing of anyone who touches it.
She describes how the longer one stays in the bedroom, the more the wallpaper appears to mutate, especially in the moonlight. With no stimulus other than the wallpaper, the pattern and designs become increasingly intriguing to the narrator. She soon begins to see a figure in the design. Eventually, she comes to believe that a woman is creeping on all fours behind the pattern. Believing she must free the woman in the wallpaper, she begins to strip the remaining paper off the wall.