Perkins-Gilman’s husband and to vent her frustration about his betrayal of her and her commitment to work. Knight demonstrates this quite clearly throughout the essay by showing how Stetson promised to support his wife’s unorthodox career interests before they were married but then turned his back on this promise later after they were legally bound. Knight is able to support these claims as she establishes the autobiographical dimension of the “Yellow Wallpaper” early on in her essay. From the beginning, Knight clarifies and explains for the reader how the fictional story is a thinly veiled account of Perkins-Gilman’s own experiences. This is significant since Knight will interpret the story as an autobiographical text and will also suggest that everything Perkins-Gilman wrote in the story under the guise of “fiction” was really a reflection of true feelings and attitudes about her real-life husband, Walter Stetson. Thus, according to Knight, it is important to consider how the husband character John in the story is presented in the text and to consider what Perkins-Gilman intended with such a portrait. To this end, Knight argues, “Like the fictional John, Walter Stetson seemed not to recognize the importance of work to his future wife’s well-being. Stetson’s diary entry for March 13, 1884, is telling: “My love is…depressed. I think she is unwell.’ And, like John, he
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- The Yellow Wallpaper, Denise Knight, Walter Stetson