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The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper


by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. 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?
  2. To what extent is the narrator reliable?
  3. How is the story broken down into different sections? Do you think there are other effective divisions within the story?
  4. How do you know the narrator is a woman?
  5. Is the narrator’s name "Jane"? (See our discussion of Names in "Tools of Characterization.")
  6. 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?
  7. Does the story belong more to the Gothic horror genre or the feminist literary fiction genre?
  8. 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?

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