Category Archives: Week 5

“The Yellow Wall-Paper” And “The Cottagette”

In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it talked about how a husband and wife moved to a new place to live because of the wife’s health. In the house she spots a wallpaper, and every night she would feel uneasy because how it looked and felt something was wrong with it. I feel that the wallpaper symbolizes herself. For example she said “a night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!”(p65) and “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still.”(p65), because at night she would freak out and complain to her husband that the wallpaper is bother her and something is weird about it. In the morning she would be calm and quiet that nothing was going on. Another example would be when she said she saw a women behind it. I feel like the women is her because she said that at night the wallpaper would become bars and in the story she is trapped in the room and can’t go anywhere because of her health. So when she ripped the wallpaper down on the day when she was going to leave, showed that she was finally set free from being confined in that room.

In “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, started off by Malda who was getting love advice from her friend Lois since she was married before, but now divorced. Lois said “but what they want to marry is a homemaker”, telling her that Mr. Matthews would love her if she does the chores around the house. So then she started cooking for him, but from all the cooking and cleaning she never got time to do what she really wanted to do which was draw. So one day he took her out to a picnic and told her to stop cooking and go back to doing what she loved, that he would still love her even though she stopped with the chores.

One thing I wanted to point out in the story when it said “Then Lois unfolded her plan. She had been married, –unhappily married, in her youth; that was all over and done with years ago; she had told me about it long since; and she said she did not regret the pain and loss because it had given her experience, She had her maiden name again-and freedom. She was so fond of me she wanted to give me the benefit of her experience–without the pain.”(p50), reminded me of “A Story Of An Hour” because they were both similar in a way. Mrs. Mallard figured out what freedom was when she found out her husband died and that she was single again. Lois on the other hand found freedom by getting a divorce because the marriage was unsuccessful. Both women faced pain and and loss, but they found freedom and also got their maiden names back.

The Yellow Wallpaper – Review

As strange as a wallpaper may be; this story portrays it perfectly. The Yellow Wallpaper by Chorlotle Parking Gilman talks about a young protagonist whose name was not mentioned.  This story was written in the first person limited point of view which seemed to be the reason behind the nameless character. As the story starts we find a young woman and her husband, John, going to stay at a vacation home he had prepared for them for a three month stay. As great as the vacation sounded the reason behind it made the trip much more important. John’s wife was faced with dramatic nervous issues that interrupted daily activities and also made the smallest and simplest task more difficult. The initial introduction of the new vacation home went well and went according to plan but with one issue. The room John selected for their bedroom happened to be disturbing in the most disturbing of ways. Across the walls lived a dreadfully misprinted yellow wallpaper which demanded grief and depression. John’s wife did not appreciate this but did grew fond of the unusual thing. The story progressed and we now find a woman that was becoming more sick without the knowledge of so. This sickness was by the name of insanity. The patterns on this yellow wallpaper tortured her as her days went on. It was labeled as haunted for the most part and even had its effect on John and his sister, who came to help with house work and his wife. It is still unclear why the wallpaper did have such great influence but as John’s wife believed, there was something beyond comprehension trapped behind its fibers. On the last week of their stay, John found his wife performing the weirdest and most bizarre acts. Crouched down walking along the wallpaper in the most deformed manner, uttering “I am free” quickly made john lose consciousness. Even so, his wife continued her demonic ritual while stepping over the motionless body. What drove her to insanity could have been anything from being in a caged marriage to being possessed by the yellow wallpaper demon. Whatever took toll upon her life, surely made her happier.

The girl behind bars

I am eager to post a blog about the Yellow Wall-Paper story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This story overall was such an interesting and captivating read. I love how this one is in an unreliable narrative. It gives so much insight to the thought processes and confusions of a patient who may be delusional.

When she first talks about the figure she sees inside the wallpaper, I immediately related her illusions to her. She said, “The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.” This is just like her situation, she is stuck inside the house because of her husband and all she wants to do is to get out of the house.

She also described the patterns on the wallpaper as bars. She feels like she is stuck there and can not escape. Her only escape is through writing in the diary that we are reading. When she tries to confide in her husband, he ignores her. “It is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise. ”

What I really want to bring attention to though is the passages at the very end. I feel like she eventually turned into the girl in the wallpaper. “I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did.”

As I did? Did she feel like she was in the wallpaper and now she has finally escaped?

“It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please”

She is creeping around like she describes the figures in the wallpapers does!

When John finally gets his way in, she says, “I’ve got out at last.”

It gets extremely spooky in the end when she says. “Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”

He was no longer her loving husband, and she is now the figure in the wallpaper…




adjective per·verse \(ˌ)pər-ˈvərs, ˈpər-ˌ\

: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive

a :  turned away from what is right or good :  corrupt

b :  improper, incorrect

a :  obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted :  wrongheaded

b :  arising from or indicative of stubbornness or obstinacy

“It was more than perversity, of course, or the unexpected confidence she had recently acquired, that made her insist; she had indeed noticed that Gregor needed a lot of room to crawl about in, whereas the furniture, as far as anyone could see, was of no use to him at all.”

 I guess it is trying to say that is is more than the stubbornness of the sister, it the new confidence that she acquired that made her insist on moving the furniture around.


Gilman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” states in one of the story passages that “there are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will” p.63. The yellow wallpaper is just a tangible object. But the narrator sees it differently and senses it in a different manner that we do. I believe that the narrator sees it as a symbol, a symbol of life and energy. That’s what the color yellow usually refers to. Overall Gilman was trying to show the horror in a way that mental illness was treated at the time. While reading the story and getting to this passage I can feel this horror of this patient with mental illness treated as a child.
The narrator expressions are strongly related to the desire of her being outside, being somewhere besides that place. As the author mentions ” I am getting angry enough to do something desperate. To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try.” p.69. All this energy that the narrator has, turned into anger and depression. I believe the reason is women were mistreated that time especially the ones with disabilities such as mental illnesses. According to the story, women had a limited role and small things to do which makes their interference with the society very little.

The Comparison of Marriages Between “The Cottagette” and “A Jury of Her Peers”

In, The Cottagette, I believe that Malda and Mr. Mathews marriage would be a harmonious and self-less love. Malda came to the Cottagette as place to relax but she end up falling in love with Ford Matthews. With this love, she took the advise of her friend, Lois, and she started to show herself as a homemaker by cooking all the time. Instead of Malda doing the things that she loved such as, embroidery, drawing, and painting, she wanted to do anything to “please Ford Mathews” (Page 51, p.2). So, this led to the kitchenette being installed at the Cottagette, making Mr. Mathews come frequently over to eat her meals, which she adored, and giving Malda a chance to show herself as a potentially good wife/homemaker in order for Mr. Mathews to marry her (Page 51, p.7). Furthermore, Malda stated that her love for Mr. Mathews would make her do much more than cooking to please him (Page 52, p.2).

As for Ford Mathews, he is a man that I think every woman would like to marry because he cared about the happiness of Malda. When he proposed to her to get married, he asked her to stop cooking because he saw that she was not doing the things that she loved (Page 53-54). Mr. Mathews realized that she gave up her artistic love to cook for him, however, he already loved Malda before she started to cook (Page 53-54). Mr. Matthews did not care if she was a good homemaker; he loved her because she was young, strong, wild, sweet, fragrant, and elusive like the wild flowers she loved (Page 54, p.11). He loved her because she was truly an artist in her special way, seeing beauty and giving it to others (Page 54, p.11). And, he loved her because she was rational, high-minded and capable of friendship, in spite of her cooking (Page 54, p.11). Therefore, this shows that Mr. Mathews fell in love with Malda because of her brains, personality, and qualities, not because she made the best bread. He encouraged Malda to do the things she loved and he cared about her desires as well. I am unsure when this story was written but if it was written during the 18th or 19th century, most men would not have the attributes of Mr. Mathews because all they would care about was their wife cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes. Also, the men in those times treated their wife as chattel or property.

In comparison to A Jury of her Peers, Mrs. Wright (Minnie Foster) had a contentious marriage. When I say contentious, I mean Mrs. Wright was living in fear throughout the duration of the marriage. The once “lively choirgirl that sang in the choir and wore pretty clothes,” was no longer lively (Page 268, p.1). Mrs. Wright’s marriage to her husband made her bound or chained to not doing the things she loved to do, which was singing. Therefore, she lived in silence until the time she killed her husband in order to be set free from his oppression. I also like to point out that Mr. Wright did not have self-less love like Mr. Mathews had. Mr. Wright was a “hard man” (Page 274 p.8) and he refused to make his wife do anything, which ultimately made Mrs. Wright always live in constant “nervousness” because, I believe that, if she did not go by his rules or the way he wanted things to be done, he would get upset with her (Page 272).

The Yellow Wall-Paper and The Cottagette

In the passage “The Cottagette” the narrator Malda is sharing a cottage at High Court for the summer with her best friend Lois to follow their dreams. Malda like music and a creative mind. She talks about how much she loves being there and how pleasant the place was.

“I like the music very well, and kept my thoughts to myself, both high and low, but “The Cottagette” I loved unreservedly.It was so little and new and clean,smelling only of its fresh-planed boards–they hadn’t even stained it.”

After she goes on about how harmonious High Court was such a grateful place, she talk about meeting interesting people and one particular person, Ford Mathews. A guy that was a newspaper man,that is becoming a writer for a magazines and books. She became really close to this person, by going on long walks with him and going over to his cave for tea. They both became interesting into each other work and goals. They started to become very fond of each other and Malda began to fall in love with him. Malda wanted to do things to enhance their relationship to please Mr.Mathews by doing homemaker work such as cooking and cleaning. She got the idea from her friend Lois due to the fact that she has been married before, but unfortunately divorced. She thought that Lois has experience in knowing what a guys wants. However, in this case, you found out that this is not true.

“It is not true, always, my dear,” said he, “that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach; at least it’s not the only way. Lois doesn’t know everything, she is young yet!”

Ford Mathews proposes to Malda in one condition which is to stop being a homemaker. One reason is because it is distracting her from pursuing her dreams as an artist. He told her he would do the cooking because he was use to it. Mathew’s father was a cook and Mathews actually cooked for a living to make money. From Malda cooking she was not doing a great job with her creative distinctive art.

If this story was able to continue, most likely you can see that Malda was going to be able to marry a guy that loves her and want her to accomplish her dreams. He was not going to let anything stand in the way of that.

In the passage “The Yellow Wall-Paper” the narrator is very ill. She’s going through a nervous depression. She is staying in a place for summer vacation. She consider a haunted house where is suppose to stay clear minded and for not doing any activities.

As stated in my discussion, the narrator states“John is practical in the extreme.He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition,and scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.”However, her husband John actually does follow these traits,there were times that he did the opposite. For example, when the narrator is not making any progress by showing sign that she is getting better, John threatens her by sending her Weir Mitchell. Later on in the story John has a different perspective. The narrator states John actually having faith by giving her hope. “John says I musn’t lose my strength, and has me take cod liver oil and lots of tonics…” These types of actions play through back and forth throughout the story.

In the story, the narrator secretly writes when her husband  is not around. She thinks is helping her with her sickness.

“I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me.”

She also feels like she is not playing the wife role and only being a burden towards her husband.

“I meant to be such a help to John,such a real rest and comfort,and here I am a comparative burden already!

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,-to dress and entertain, and order things.”

She is not able to do these things because of her nervousness. John her husband and her brother who are physician believe that Jane is not sick. This makes the narrator Jane upset because they are having miscommunication.

“I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes.. I think it is due to this nervous condition.”

“I don’t like our room one bit.I wanted one downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window,and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hanging! but John would not hear of it.”

In these two stories, both of the narrators had two different feelings towards the environment they were around. In “The Cottagette”, the narrator loved and was happy to be in the place she was because she was pursuing her dreams. In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” the narrator was did not want to be place in that environment and it bothered her throughout her whole entire time there. Both of these settings took place during the summer in an environment that supposedly were  not their normal resident. Although, the actions that took place in these two stories it did not effect them because of the setting, but because of their personality. It doesn’t matter where someone lives, those are just temporary fixes. Eventually everyone will be who they are regardless of the environment you would have to work on their own issues in order to make any relationship work.

Setting of The Cottagette and The Yellow Wallpaper

The Cottagette is in a serene environment, high in the mountaintops in a remote beautiful landscape. It is in a resort where all the needs of the visitors are looked after, and where everyone is supposed to be happy and enjoy life.  This is the perfect setting for a story about falling in love. Before Ford “pops the question”, the setting described is a perfectly romantic one, “”stopped by a spring… saw the round sun setting at one end of a world view, and the round moon rising at the other..”. This fits the story’s theme perfectly.

The Yellow Wallpaper is set in an almost haunted house. The house itself is nice enough. It has a nice big garden and plenty of rooms, but after being left uninhabited for so long has a spooky air about it. Then the room is mentioned. First noting the bars on the windows, then the wallpaper,she describes the nursery, specifically the wallpaper, “Stripped off in great patches…commited every artistic sin…color is repellent, almost revolting…no wonder the children hated it..” you can really get a feel of how the narrator feels about it. The narrator is then confined to the room with minimal interaction between her and anyone else. for someone with post-postpartum depression or someone with a predisposition to mental illness, this is the absolute best setting to have someone go crazy.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Cottagette”

For the two stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that we have read, the settings are new houses where the both main characters moved to, but each house gives us quite different mood.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator describes her new house in the second paragraph. “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity – but that would be asking too much of fate! … Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?” Although the narrator’s husband decided to move to this house for his wife’s health and cure of her depression for the summer, she keeps telling the readers about her bad feelings about the house. She says the house looks like a haunted house, and there will be a reason for the cheap price. In page 58, the narrator mentions about the broken greenhouses. And she says “There was some legal trouble, I believe, something about the heirs and coheirs; anyhow, the place has been empty for years. That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don’t care – there is something strange about the house – I can feel it.” Since the beginning of the story, the narrator describes her new house negatively including the “repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” wallpaper. All these word choices of the author provide readers information that the narrator doesn’t like the house and negative atmosphere throughout the story as well.

On the other hand, in “The Cottagette,” the narrator, Ms. Malda, provides us the description of setting in the third paragraph. “I was delighted with it. More than delighted. Here this tiny shell of fresh unpainted wood peeped out from under the trees, the only house in sight except the distant white specks on far off farms, and the little wandering village in the river-threaded valley. It sat right on the turf,–no road, no path even, and the dark woods shadowed the back windows.” In paragraph 7, the narrator says “never did I know the real joy and peace of living, before that blessed summer at “High Court.”” When describing the house, the use of all these positive word choices of the narrator in the third paragraph gives the reader the positive impact about the house. Also in the paragraph 7, she feels “the real joy and peace of living” during the summer at the new place.

Even the settings for the two stories are same as a new place where the main character started to live and both are little far from the town, the house in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is depicted as an abandoned haunted house, whereas the “Cottagette” looks more peaceful and bright.



“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are stories you can say are the opposites of each other. One is set in a Utopia and the other in a Dystopia. In other words, one is positive and the other is negative. “The Cottagette” is more of a Utopian story due to the relaxed feeling you get from listening to the narrator’s happy lifestyle/point of view. “The Yellow Wallpaper” on the other hand is more Dystopian and involves a much more darker stance. This story is covered with emotions and the depressing life the narrator is living. The question however is what defines the two stories as a Utopian/Dystopian story. The answer to that is in the setting.

Let’s start off with the more depressing story. “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows clear signs of a setting that involves depression. One main setting feature that defines how the story is more negative is right in the beginning of the story. “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house….” Judging from this one sentence, you already know things aren’t gonna look good. The scenery also shows darkness. Examples include the broken greenhouses and the lack of renovations in the house. Scent also is an attribute of setting. Within the mansion, lies a scent that “creeps all over the house.” Along with that scent, the weather is terrible with fog and rain that lasted the whole week. Pretty much my point here is the setting of this story is similar to something you will see in a scary movie.

Now let’s move to something more happier. “The Cottagette” is the opposite of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and is definitely for a fact much more pleasant and happier. Happiness is written all over this story. Anyways, the setting of this story is as the title says. We have here a cottage that is “far too small for a house, too pretty for a hut, too unusual for a cottage.” It may be unusual but hey, at least she likes it as seen when Malda says “”The Cottagette” I loved unreservedly.” as she listens to the music playing. The cottage was also “Little and new and clean, smelling only of its fresh-planed boards–they hadn’t even stained it.” Speaking of music, the musical scenery I would say plays a major role in the story because it adds more joyful thrill and enlightenment.

In the end, it’s obvious to say that these two stories are complete opposites. One is positive and the other is negative. One is dark and the other is light. The setting between the two stories define the differences between them. The main point is, the setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is something you’ll find in a scary movie, and the setting in “The Cottagette” is more something you’ll find in a happy romance.