A physician comes to live with her sister and brother-in-law while setting up practice in their town. She observes the relationship between the two and determines to practice her art, albeit a bit deceitfully, to remedy what she sees as unhealthy and unhappy between the elderly married couple. The story unravels the physician's psycho-social methods and follows their implementation to an apparently successful outcome.


This simple late nineteenth-century story has a human appeal, particularly in reference to the sensitivity of the physician to the distress in her family's household. She uses her authority as physician to construct an elaborate plan, which incorporates the fabrication of a disease, to remedy the marital problem. Despite the quaintness and the success of the plan, it does raise some questions about the ethics of lying in the care of patients.


First published: 1914

Primary Source

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings by Charlotte Perkins Gilman



Place Published

New York