what’s it about again?
1890s misogyny + quackery = a man locking his wife up in a room and taking away all distractions “for her health” which is the opposite of what you should do with someone who is experiencing psychosis and goes about as well as you would expect
I think it’s autobiographical
It is, sort of. Charlotte Perkins Gilman became depressed (I think after the birth of a child, not totally sure), and was put on the “rest cure”, which meant no social, physical, or intellectual stimulation, for fear that visiting friends/writing/doing anything constructive whatsoever would exacerbate her “hysteria”.
She eventually realized it wasn’t working and started writing/doing things and she did recover. The Yellow Wallpaper was partially a public rebuke to the very well-regarded doctor who had invented and popularized the rest cure. Predictably, he ignored it.
One of the things I really like it is the way it brings up both actual mental illness (in this case depression) and how contempt/abuse (even when widely condoned) can make recovery difficult or impossible, and the tendency of the medical establishment to pathologize inconvenient/undesirable behavior among anyone who disrupts the comfortable lives of the people in charge.
I’m not positive, but I think she also wrote a novel about a women’s utopia where all the ladies lived together and there were no men allowed in the city. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read about it, and I’m fairly sure that was by Gilman too.
Is that one um, what do you call it, the thing where it’s not owned by anyone in particular so you can read it for free? Like Lovecraft’s work? I have The Yellow Wallpaper bookmarked.