Summary Of Charlotte Perkins Stetson's The Yellow Wallpaper

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Stetson written in the form of a journal, telling the story of a mentally ill woman whose husband locks her in a room for the duration of the summer. Much like the mental state of the author, the tone throughout the entire short story is undeniably inconsistent. The tone shifts from depressing to blissful and then from naive to skeptical in only a few lines. The sporadic changes in tone show the mental deterioration of the narrator as the story progresses. The despondent yet blissfully naive tone of Stetson shows that she is not confident about her writing, but is instead anxious and fearful about the possible consequences of her forbidden journaling. The short story is written in the form of a diary and not in the format of a typical publishable piece, which is due to the fact that Stetson is a woman in the late 1800s, a time period in which women were not permitted to write more advanced works. …show more content…
She is expressing unfiltered thoughts in order to understand the wide range of emotions she is experiencing, none of which would please her husband. Her husband, who is also her physician, accosts her whenever he discovers her writing, especially about her condition, because “[he] says the very worst thing [she] can do is to think about [her] condition.” (Stetson 648) Whenever her husband John is near, she has to conceal her writing because “he hates to have [her] write a word” (Stetson 649). She continues to write “in spite of [him],” (Stetson 648) despite the fact that “it does exhaust [her] a good deal” (Stetson 648). Her voice in her writing is hidden and not confident due to the fact that the writing itself must stay