The Yellow Wallpaper American Feminist Literature By Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 6,000-word short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health. Presented in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman (Jane) whose physician husband (John) has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal from him, so she can recuperate from what he calls a "temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency," a diagnosis common to women in that period. The windows of the room are barred, and there is a gate across the top of the stairs, allowing her husband to control her access to the rest of the house. The story depicts the effect of confinement on the narrator's mental health and her descent into psychosis. With nothing to stimulate her, she becomes obsessed by the pattern and color of the wallpaper. "It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw - not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper - the smell! ... The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell." In the end, she imagines there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper and comes to believe she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up. "For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow. But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way."
The first monograph to examine the depiction of reading women in French art of the early Third Republic, Women Readers in French Painting 1870-1890 evaluates the pictorial significance of this imagery, its critical reception, and its impact on notions of femininity and social relations. Covering a broad range of paintings, prints, and sculptures, this book shows how the liseuse was subjected to unprecedented levels of pictorial innovation by artists with widely differing aesthetic aims and styles. Depictions of readers are interpreted as contributions to changing notions of public and private life, female agency, and women's participation in cultural and political debates beyond the domestic household. This highly original book explores images of women readers from a range of social classes in both urban and rural settings. Such images are shown to have articulated concerns about the impact of female literacy on labour environments and family life while, in many cases, challenging conventions of gendered reading. Kathryn Brown also presents an alternative way of conceiving of modernity in relation to nineteenth-century art, a methodological departure from much recent art historical literature. Artists discussed range from Manet, Cassatt and Degas, to less familiar figures such as Lavieille, Carriere, Toulmouche and Tissot.
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