books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow WallpaperThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful story! There is a adage in writing that the writer must not tell the reader, but let the characters tell their own story. This is all there is in this story. There is no narrator except for the main character. There are no other people telling the story. Everything we see, we see through the main character's eyes.

She is actually suffering from postpartum depression, but everything being done for her is missing the mark. In fact, it is possibly the worst thing that can be done for her. We hear the voices of her husband and others involved with her care, but only filtered through her depression. Are they really that oblivious to what is really happening to her?

I read a book about the Galveston Flood in 1902. One of the reasons the hurricane was so devastating was the hubris of the new National Weather Bureau. They thought they knew all there was to know about the behavior of hurricanes and they were contemptuous of the reports coming in from the "too easily excited" Cubans. I felt the same kind of hubris in this story. The husband and the doctor think they know exactly what his wife needs and they don't listen to her. They also don't question their own wisdom even when she is obviously getting worse and worse. They do everything wrong for what they are sure are the right reasons.

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