Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. The Yellow Wallpaper
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

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    I'm feeling ever so much better! I don't sleep much at night, for it is so interesting to watch developments; but I sleep a good deal in the daytime.

   In the daytime it is tiresome and perplexing.

    There are always new shoots on the fungus, and new shades of yellow all over it. I cannot keep count of them, though I have tried conscientiously.

    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! I noticed it the moment we came into the room, but with so much air and sun it was not bad. Now we have had a week of fog and rain, and whether the windows are open or not, the smell is here.

   It creeps all over the house.

   I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs.

   It gets into my hair.

    Even when I go to ride, if I turn my head suddenly and surprise it -- there is that smell!

    Such a peculiar odor, too! I have spent hours in trying to analyze it, to find what it smelled like.

    It is not bad -- at first, and very gentle, but quite the subtlest, most enduring odor I ever met.

    In this damp weather it is awful, I wake up in the night and find it hanging over me.

    It used to disturb me at first. I thought seriously of burning the house -- to reach the smell.

    But now I am used to it. The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell.

    There is a very funny mark on this wall, low down, near the mopboard. A streak that runs round the room. It goes behind every piece of furniture, except the bed, a long, straight, even smooch, as if it had been rubbed over and over.

    I wonder how it was done and who did it, and what they did it for. Round and round and round -- round and round and round -- it makes me dizzy!