The Yellow Wallpaper | Study Guide

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Yellow Wallpaper | Section Summaries

See Section Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Early summer

    The narrator and her husband take up temporary residence in an isolated house.

    Section 1
  • Two weeks later

    The narrator writes that the wallpaper pattern looks like a "broken neck" and staring eyes.

    Section 2
  • Around July 4

    A few relatives come to visit, and the narrator says she is becoming fond of the wallpaper pattern.

    Section 3
  • Days or weeks later

    The narrator sees a creeping woman in the wallpaper's pattern—one who wants to escape.

    Section 4
  • August

    The narrator asks John if they can leave; John says they cannot.

    Section 5
  • Days later

    The narrator feels better because she looks forward to watching the woman in the wallpaper.

    Section 7
  • Last day in the house

    The narrator locks her door and begins to peel the paper off the wall.

    Section 12
  • The next morning

    John finds the narrator creeping along the wall and faints.

    Section 12

Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Section 1 "The Yellow Wallpaper" is told as a series of journal entries on what the narrator calls "dead paper." As it begins, the... Read More
Section 2 Two weeks later, the narrator is sitting by the window writing in her journal, because John is away for the day. She des... Read More
Section 3 The next journal entry takes place following the Fourth of July holiday. Although John allowed a few family visitors to ... Read More
Section 4 The fourth journal entry begins, "I don't know why I should write this. I don't want to. I don't feel able." The summer ... Read More
Section 5 In the creeping moonlight, the narrator believes the figure she sees in the yellow wallpaper shakes the outer pattern, a... Read More
Section 6 The next journal entry begins with an elaborate description of the yellow wallpaper, which the narrator has become even ... Read More
Section 7 The narrator is excited, and her health is improving. She feels more positive, and John is pleased that she is eating we... Read More
Section 8 The narrator says she feels better than ever, though she sleeps most of the day and stays up all night to watch "develop... Read More
Section 9 The narrator has figured out that the outer pattern moves because the woman behind it shakes it, trying to climb through... Read More
Section 10 The narrator is convinced that the woman behind the wallpaper's pattern gets out in the daytime because she can see her ... Read More
Section 11 The narrator has decided to remove the top pattern from the wallpaper, leaving the pattern underneath behind. She feels ... Read More
Section 12 The narrator feels certain that she can complete her task, although it is the last day in the house. Working by moonligh... Read More
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