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The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper Part 1 Summary

  • The narrator and her husband John move into an old ancestral hall for the summer.
  • She immediately feels that there is something wrong with the place, but John scoffs at her fears, which seems to be a recurring theme in their marriage. John uses the old, "trust me, I’m a doctor" line to convince his wife and all their relatives that the narrator needs to rest in order to get rid of her slight depression.
  • The narrator thinks that writing and hanging out with friends would be a better cure, but Mr. "trust me, I’m a doctor" wins the day. The narrator occasionally sneaks around and writes, but it’s hard when her husband and family oppose it.
  • The narrator transitions to describing the estate as one of those "English places that you read about."
  • The narrator continues feeling spooked out by the place, and John again dismisses her fears. She wants to sleep in a different, prettier room, but her husband disagrees. He recommends a large room at the top of the house that used to be a nursery.
  • John controls her daily schedule and prescribes lots and lots of rest. The narrator hates the wallpaper in the room, which is stripped off in various places.
  • Even though she hates the wallpaper, the narrator is also strangely fascinated by it.
  • She tells us that John is approaching and that she must hide the paper she is writing on.

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