Title

2K: The Evolution of "The Yellow Wallpaper" from horror story to feminist classic

Presenter Information

Eris FieldsFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Derek Thiess

Campus

Oconee

Proposal Type

Oral Presentation

Subject Area

English

Location

Panel 2: K (Register Here)

Start Date

26-3-2021 1:00 PM

End Date

26-3-2021 1:50 PM

Description/Abstract

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman is a cautionary tale about the dangers of the rest cure, a method used by doctors in the late 1800s to cure depression. She wrote the story as a way to showcase her mistreatment and to make sure this method wouldn’t be used to abuse other women. However, some of the readers felt that the story was too scary, and it was categorized as a horror story. As Mara van Beurden states, “the subject (and its development) was too ominous” as well as calling it “a scary tale and of the insidious kind which produces its effect slowly” (Dock 105-106, 109)”. Closer to the 21st century the view of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ began to shift. People focused less on the so-called frightening aspects and more on what the main character’s struggles represent under a feminist lens which goes more with what Gilman’s initial goal was when writing this story. Seeing ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ evolve from a somewhat obscure horror story to a very prominent feminist text can reveal how when women write their everyday struggles in a fictional sense it is misconstrued as horror because of how dark it can really be.

Media Format

flash_audio

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Mar 26th, 1:00 PM Mar 26th, 1:50 PM

2K: The Evolution of "The Yellow Wallpaper" from horror story to feminist classic

Panel 2: K (Register Here)

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman is a cautionary tale about the dangers of the rest cure, a method used by doctors in the late 1800s to cure depression. She wrote the story as a way to showcase her mistreatment and to make sure this method wouldn’t be used to abuse other women. However, some of the readers felt that the story was too scary, and it was categorized as a horror story. As Mara van Beurden states, “the subject (and its development) was too ominous” as well as calling it “a scary tale and of the insidious kind which produces its effect slowly” (Dock 105-106, 109)”. Closer to the 21st century the view of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ began to shift. People focused less on the so-called frightening aspects and more on what the main character’s struggles represent under a feminist lens which goes more with what Gilman’s initial goal was when writing this story. Seeing ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ evolve from a somewhat obscure horror story to a very prominent feminist text can reveal how when women write their everyday struggles in a fictional sense it is misconstrued as horror because of how dark it can really be.