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The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Literature and Writing Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

I always fancy I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try.

I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me. (2.22 – 2.23)

John forces the narrator to repress her imagination. While her "habit of story-making" might have found a healthy outlet in writing, repressing her habit instead leads to the narrator's mental illness.

Quote #5

I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me.

But I find I get pretty tired when I try.

It is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about my work. When I get really well, John says we will ask Cousin Henry and Julia down for a long visit; but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now. (2.23 – 2.25)

Here John is a clear obstacle to the narrator’s desire to write and to lead an engaged, fulfilling life.

Quote #6

[Jennie] is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession. I verily believe she thinks it is the writing which made me sick! (2.77)

Jennie’s belief is characteristic of the perfect "angel in the house" ideal.

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