The Yellow Wallpaper
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the
A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of
romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate!
Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.
Else, why should it be let so cheaply?
And why have stood so long untenanted?
John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.
John is practical in the extreme.
He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition,
and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.
John is a physician, and PERHAPS--(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is
dead paper and a great relief to my mind)--PERHAPS that is one reason I do not get well
You see he does not believe I am sick!
And what can one do?
If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is
really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression--a slight hysterical
tendency--what is one to do?
My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing.
So I take phosphates or phosphites--whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and
exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to "work" until I am well again.
Personally, I disagree with their ideas.
Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.
But what is one to do?
I did write for a while in spite of them; but it DOES exhaust me a good deal--having to be so sly
about it, or else meet with heavy opposition.
I sometimes fancy that my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus--but
John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always
makes me feel bad.