'The Yellow Wallpaper' Quotes

By C.F. Lummis (Original copyright holder, presumably photographer) Restoration by Adam Cuerden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In  The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a short story, the narrator is isolated in her room, where she's forbidden from of thinking, writing or reading. The heroine has been told she's unwell and that this isolation will be good for her. Unfortunately, it eventually leads to her loss of sanity. Gilman's tale is an allegory for how women weren't taken seriously by the medical industry, which exacerbated their issues.

Her heroines slow descent into madness is supposed to be reminiscent of how an oppressive society stifles women. The yellow wallpaper which can be seen as a symbol for society continues to grow wild in the heroine's imagination until she's trapped in a flowered prison. The story is popular in Women's Studies classes and considered to be one of the first Feminist stories. It's a must-read for any lover of American or Feminist literature. Here are a few quotes from the story. 

"The Yellow Wallpaper" Quotes

  • "The color is repellent, almost revolting: a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "This wallpaper has a kind of subpattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "I'm getting really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper. Perhaps because of the wallpaper."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "There are things in that wallpaper that nobody knows about but me, or ever will."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well under way in following, it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "It becomes bars! The outside pattern, I mean, and the women behind it is as plain as can be. I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman. By daylight, she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "Through watching so much at night, when it changes so, I have finally found out. The front pattern does move-and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it!"
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
     
  • "For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow. But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way."
    - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper