Published in 1892 it’s both a horror story and a feminist piece. I’ve read it dozens of times and I still love it, if not more and more with each reading.
Gilman herself suffered years of depression, her prescription at the time was to rest and live as domestic a life as possible. Remember this was in the late 1800s and she was a woman. She wasn’t allowed to do what she loved most, write. The doctor went as far as to forbid her to even touch a pen, pencil or brush. Also, she could only have two hours of mental stimulation a day.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman endured three months of this ‘cure’ and after almost having a complete mental breakdown she decided to go against doctor’s orders and began writing again. She wrote this story.
Later she said her intent for the piece was to save people from being driven crazy.
It’s an amazing story and she’s a fascinating person. So please look her up and read more, if you’re interested.
Music by Julyan Ray Matsuura
Emotional Piano Improvisation by Alexander Nakarada