Gilman Study Questions
“The Yellow Wallpaper” 1204-14
A. Describe the main character.
B. Describe the minor characters and their relevance.
C. Describe the setting and explain its relevance to the story.
1. How does the style reflect the content of the story?
2. How does her husband diagnose her illness?
3. How can such a diagnosis be tied to his perception of women?
4. How is housekeeping perceived?
5. Is the narrator ill?
6. Does John lover her? How does he show that he does? If he loves her, how can he treat her so?
7. Why can’t John leave the house when she asks him to?
8. What is wrong with the wallpaper?
9. How does the wallpaper affect her mental condition?
10. Is she really insane or a product of bad therapy?
11. Who is the woman she sees inside the wallpaper? How do you know?
12. Why does she see several women?
13. What symbols exist in the story?
14. Why does her husband faint at the end of the story? Is his reaction like Penn’s in “Mother” where he feels guilty or does he faint because he is taken aback with how ill she is?
15. What does the second to last paragraph mean? Why Jane?
E. Could this story have been written about a man?
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