“The Yellow Wallpaper”

If you want to know more about Charlotte Perkins Gilman, be sure to ask Irene H., Audrey F., and Lauren Gr.! Their NHD project is on Gilman! You can also check out some links and videos below.

Read “The Yellow Wallpaper,” annotating as you see fit. Use the Notice and Note signposts to help you annotate! The signposts are listed below.

As you read, think about and jot down notes on this question: “What does this story seem to tell us about women at the turn of the twentieth century?” — for example, about their roles, their relationships, their positions in society, etc.

CONTRASTS & CONTRADICTIONS: When a character does something that contrasts with what you’d expect or contradicts their earlier acts or statements. ASK: Why is the character doing that?

AHA MOMENT: When a character realizes, understands, or finally figures out something. ASK: How might this change things?

TOUGH QUESTIONS: When the character faces or stops and asks themselves a very difficult question. ASK: What does this question make ME wonder about?

WORDS OF THE WISER: When an older or wiser character attempts to teach a younger or less-experienced character a life lesson. ASK: What’s the life lesson and how might it affect the character?

AGAIN & AGAIN: When a word, phrase, or situation is mentioned over and over. ASK: Why does this keep happening or coming up again and again?

MEMORY MOMENT: When the author interrupts the action to tell you about a memory. ASK: Why might this memory be important?


Schlesinger Library Charlotte Perkins Gilman Digital Collection

The Neurasthenia Rest Cure and Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell

Neurasthenia is no longer an official diagnostic category in Western medicine (except in psychiatry where it is rarely used outside China and Japan). Instead, modern physicians recognize different conditions, such as clinical depression, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder, postpartum depression, and perhaps chronic fatigue syndrome and mononucleosis as being part of what physicians in 1900 called neurasthenia.”