An Alternate Feministic Ending to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Then he said – very quietly indeed, “Open the door, my darling! ” “I can’t, ” said I. “The key is down by the front door under a plantain leaf! ” And then I said it again, several times, very gently and slowly, and said it so often that he had to go and see, and he got it of course, and came in. He stopped short by the door, and before he could even say, “What is the matter? ” I jumped on him and caused him to lose balance and drop to the floor head first.
While I was on top of him, John wrestled against me with his hand grabbing my hair but my hands squeezing his face and mouth. We rolled and rolled and rolled until I was under him trying to lock his neck with my strong arms. As he struggled to free himself from my grasp, he bit me in the arm and I screamed as blood spurted out of the cut where his sharp teeth buried. While I screamed, he pushed me with his head towards the wall behind me and when I banged my head on the wall with a loud thud, I growled in pain and consequently I loosened my grasp, and he twisted and turned towards me while grasping and squeezing both my wrists with his tight fists and never letting me go.
“You whore! How dare you do that to me! What makes you think you are stronger than me? And what makes you think you can get away, huh! ” John was screaming at me in a rhythm that corresponded to the thudding that my head made on the wooden floor.
All the while I was right! Although I thought once that John loved me very dearly, now I realize that it is never true. That is why I knew I was a little afraid of him, and that is why whenever he came, I had to put this away for he hated to have me write a word. I was momentarily dazed at this shocking realization and then I uttered a muffled cry as John finally grabbed hold of my neck with both hands and started choking the life out of me while I felt my weak legs helplessly kicking at him.
Then, as I felt tears coming out of my puffy eyes and oxygen leaving my twitching chest through my gaping mouth, my eyes moved to the back of John as I smelled a familiar odor and witnessed a most horrid sight. My initial reaction was fear as I remembered I have always feared John. But when I saw the creeping women come into the room through the window and as many more came out of the yellow wallpaper from behind me, I knew the day of reckoning came.
Their dark creeping shadows loomed around me and John, and I could see the expression on his face change from rage to horror.
Bow, Leslie. “Introduction: Theorizing Gendered Constructions of Ethnic and National Collectivity.” Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature. 1998. Princeton University Press. 27 Mar 2012. <http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7066.html>
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” 2009. The College of Staten Island. 27 Mar 2012. <http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/wallpaper.html>
Kolodny, Annette. “A Map for Rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts.” New Literary History 11 (3):451-467 (Spring 1980). Johns Hopkins University Press. 2012. Web. 27 Mar 2012. <http://www.users.muohio.edu/ryanee2/Files/Kolodny%201980.pdf>
McManus, Barbara F. “Characteristics of a Feminist Approach.” 1998. The College of New Rochelle. 27 Mar 2012. <http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/femcharacteristics.html>