I recently heard The Yellow Wall-Paper (dash included by the author) on the podcast Stuff You Should Know.
The novella (or short story) depicts a woman married to a physician in the year 1892. Throughout the story the woman slowly becomes mad, obsessed with the wallpaper of the a room in which her husband has forced her to dwell, for her “recovery”.
While the story is written from the point of view of someone who is going mad, as a reader (a sane one) I am able to grasp and relate to the experience she is going through.
In detail the author describes the curves and twists of the yellow wallpaper lining the room in which she sleeps, until slowly her descriptions turn to nonsense. And that’s what’s so dark about this story, how relatable it ultimately is.
I’m sure you can conjure up a time in which you paid attention to minute detail that no one else seemed to. Was it the repeated sidewalk cracks the person in front of you trampled on? Or the table setting you set up that had two utensils that you couldn’t set perfectly parallel?
Perkins’ story is a perfect example of someone, who, left to their own devices for too long, gets lost and maddened over the intricate detail of her yellow wallpaper.
You can read more about the Yellow Wallpaper and other interesting information about the story like it being considered to be the first piece of feminist literature in United States history on Wikipedia.