The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892. In the story, a woman called “Jane” is suffering from post-partum depression after giving birth to her daughter and is confined to a room with yellow wallpaper. She becomes obsessed with the wallpaper and starts to believe that there is another woman trapped behind it. Her husband tries to help her recover by taking her on walks outside and bringing her books to read, but he ultimately fails because he cannot understand what she is going through.
The story was written as a commentary on the treatment of mental illness in the 19th century, which often involved isolation and confinement in institutions. It also explores how someone’s imagination can be used as an escape from reality when they are stuck in an uncomfortable situation like Jane was.
The story has been adapted into several different mediums over time including film and stage productions; however, it is most commonly known for its original form: a short story written by Gilman herself.