I taught "The Yellow Wallpaper"
for the first time today, and oh, it was fun. Hysteria, postpartum depression, husbands locking up their wives, psychosis, ghosts, creeping, being forbidden to write (which ACTUALLY happened to the author). And then I got to tell them that this is not just a product of the 1890s, that now we have 'surrendered wives' and 'Christian domestic discipline,' both of which rather shocked them, I think. And then we transitioned into discussing their own occasional desires (some of them, anyway) to have men be dominant in some way (taller, make more money, be older, pay for dinner, open doors, etc.), and all I can say is that it was a wild fifty-minute ride. Thank you, Ms. Gilman! Brilliant little story.
"It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper the smell! ... The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell."