FOR ALL AGES

28 The Yellow Wallpaper Quotes To Enhance Your Feminist Literature Studies

The author puts her own experience in the form of a story.

'The Yellow Wallpaper' is a thought-provoking short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The narrator suffers from nervous depression and her husband who is a physician, prescribes pills and confines her to rest in a room, forbidding her to do anything else.  The woman, who is deprived of her freedom, puts her thoughts secretively in writing.

The room has a yellow wallpaper that seemingly mutates, and the narrator believes that a woman is trying to creep in and come out from behind. The story beautifully brings out the patriarchal control over women in the nineteenth century, in which women are restricted to the household.

Over the ages, people have thought that a woman's well-being lies in eating, taking sufficient rest by having a good sleep, and confining herself to the household.  The writer wishes that people should realize that a woman's well-being, contrary to the general notion, lies in living a life that she enjoys.  This article lists some of the best 'Yellow Wallpaper' quotes that reflect this conflict.  

If you are looking for more quotes, do check out ['The Awakening' quotes] and ['The Bell Jar' quotes] as well.

'The Yellow Wallpaper' Important Quotes

These quotes show how the husband controls the woman in the marriage, which is a characteristic of contemporary society.

1." He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

2."John is a physician, and perhaps - (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind) perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster.  You see he does not believe I am sick!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

3."I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no REASON to suffer, and that satisfies him. It comes night, and that is hard!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

4."There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy.  Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?"

-The Character John in 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

5." John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

6."So I take phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to 'work' until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

7."And that cultivates deceit, for I don't tell them I'm awake - 0 no !  The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

8."I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more. society and stimulus - but John say the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

9." If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency - what is one to do?"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

This quote depicts the torturous conflict faced in 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

'The Yellow Wallpaper' Quotes About Freedom

Real freedom lies in being able to do what we like.

These quotes reveal the intense craving of women for freedom, depicted symbolically through the image behind the yellow paper on the wall.

10."The front pattern does move - and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

11."Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

12."I have watched her sometimes away off in the open country, creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in a high wind."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

13."'I've got out at last,' said I, 'in spite of you and Jane? And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!'"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

14."It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

Quotes On Feminism

No wonder the author symbolically uses the creeping woman to describe the thoughts of feminism in her mind.  Women love to go outside and follow their dreams, but society allows them a little opportunity.

15."I don't like to look out of the windows even - there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

16."It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

17."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!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

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

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

'The Yellow Wallpaper' Quotes About Being Trapped

These quotes portray the helplessness of the woman confined in patriarchal notions and are deprived of the authority to execute her will.

19."The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

20."Then in the very bright spots, she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

21."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."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

22."At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean and the woman behind it is as plain as can be."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

23."By daylight, she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

24."There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

Quotes That Describe The Situation Of Women

The 'yellow' color symbolically reflects the restrictions that society imposes on women, which women find 'infuriating,' as described in the quotes below.

25."I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

26."The color is hideous enough and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

27."I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard!"

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

28."Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

The last quote here describes what exactly can cure the woman of her nervous disorder, as opposed to the conventional treatment that the male doctors prescribed at the time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for The Yellow Wallpaper Quotes then why not take a look at [Ada Lovelace quotes], or [women's rights quotes].

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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