I originally read this story back in high school. I had this uber feminist English teacher who had us reading everything from The Awakening to The Handmaid's Tale. I was way more closed minded and stubborn back then (ok, I'm still really stubborn) and definitely did not share in her feministic views. However, somehow, this short story always stayed with me.
So imagine my surprise when I am reading this book and I come across the backstory as to why Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper. A Civil War doctor use to prescribe what he called "rest cure" for different ailments (mainly mental health related, although they certainly didn't categorize it as such back then). For men, he sent them out West, to be outdoors with other people, hunting, being active, relaxing. But for women, he sentenced them to confinement. Told them they needed to be in an isolated, dark room with no visitors and no stimulation. And people actually accepted this!
Well, most did. Gillman, one of his patients, rejected the idea so soundly that she produced The Yellow Wallpaper as a result. (Apparently Virginia Woolf also met with the doctor and had a similar response). This fact made me think I misjudged this short story all those years ago. So I took to rereading it. With this new knowledge of how it came about (and I am sure a more mature and open mindset), I was able to see just how inspired, angry, and good Gilman's story really is.