The Yellow Wallpaper
The Yellow Wallpaper
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

The narrator and her husband arrive at a country estate for a "rest" vacation. She is bothered by their room’s ugly yellow wallpaper.

Act II

Stuck in the room with orders to do nothing but rest, the narrator becomes more obsessed with the wallpaper and less trusting of her husband. She begins to sense a "yellow smell" in the room.


Convinced there’s a woman stuck behind the wallpaper, she strips it off the walls in order to free her. She then declares that she has escaped from the paper, and her husband faints when he finally sees how insane she has become.

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