Teacher Guide

The Yellow Wallpaper Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1890) was inspired by her personal experiences with depression following the birth of her daughter in 1887. At the time, Gilman was referred to Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, a physician who specialized in women’s nervous disorders. Weir Mitchell diagnosed Gilman with “neurasthenia” and prescribed a rest cure—forcing herself into inactivity. Weir Mitchell believed that Gilman’s nervous depression was the result of her overactive nerves, so he ordered her to cease all forms of creative activity, including writing, for the rest of her life.

Gilman initially attempted to follow Weir Mitchell’s instructions and did not write for three months....

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