2012 / 2013
"It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked." ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine, begins to deconstruct the effects of attitudes towards women's physical and mental health in the 19th century. The Yellow Wallpaper is a story about a woman locked in a room by her husband and doctors depicts the effects of solitary confinement; she eventually descends into a state of psychosis. The lack of stimulation caused by utter isolation due to the fact that she was forbidden from working or leaving her bedroom, leads her to become obsessed by the pattern and color of the wallpaper in her bedroom, "I lie here on this great immovable bed - it is nailed down, I believe - and follow that pattern about by the hour" (9 Gilman).
Gilman's protagonist comes to suspect that another woman was once confined in the same room against her will. Believing that she must try to free the woman in the wallpaper; the narrator begins to strip the remaining paper off the wall. “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled” She exclaims, "I've got out at last," and her husband faints as she continues to circle the room, stepping over his inert body each time she passes. The moment of push/pull between the narrator and the women behind the paper could be seen as the struggle between the impossibility/future possibilities of a queer desire. She has been positioned as a character, whose credibility has been seriously compromised, because of her downward spiral into madness; However, The Yellow Wallpaper can be seen as having a Degree of triumph, and points to the possibility of queer existence. “The term “queer” and some of its cognates resonate very strongly in Gilman’s short story. The Video adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper has a queer slant, as with shifting identities, the meaning and metaphor are never completely resolved and can never be fixed. The Video asks for a queer reconsideration of Gilman's short story.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?