The Yellow Wallpaper
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The Yellow Wallpaper Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What would "The Yellow Wallpaper" look like as a full-length novel? Why do you think it’s presented in the short story form instead?
- To what extent is the narrator reliable?
- How is the story broken down into different sections? Do you think there are other effective divisions within the story?
- How do you know the narrator is a woman?
- Is the narrator’s name "Jane"? (See our discussion of Names in "Tools of Characterization.")
- What are some of the problems with reading "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a feminist text? For instance, does the narrator speak for all women? Could the men in the story also be understood as repressed individuals?
- Does the story belong more to the Gothic horror genre or the feminist literary fiction genre?
- Does the ending of the story suggest progress (a woman tears down the shackles that are binding her) or pessimism (this woman has become completely unstable)? Or is it delivering a different type of message? How should we read this story?