The Yellow Wallpaper

The narrator’s husband. He is a physician of high standing, and becomes doctor to his wife. He is extremely practical, rejects superstition, and is interested only in physical facts. This leads him to dismiss his wife’s concerns about her inner life, and impose his own cure – rest, food, air, phosphates, and a freedom from the distractions of life outside the domestic sphere. John treats his wife like a child in many ways, calling her his “little girl”. His inability to truly recognize the inner life of his wife is made clear in her diary, and leads him to faint in shock when he realizes the true extent of her illness.

John Quotes in The Yellow Wallpaper

The The Yellow Wallpaper quotes below are all either spoken by John or refer to John. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Yellow Wallpaper published in 2009.
First Entry Quotes

It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer. A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate! Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

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John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

John is a physician, and PERHAPS—(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)—PERHAPS that is one reason I do not get well faster.
You see he does not believe I am sick!
And what can one do?

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Related Symbols: The Diary
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction.

I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more.
He said we came here solely on my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:

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Second Entry Quotes

John is away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious.
I am glad my case is not serious!
But these nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing.
John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no REASON to suffer, and that satisfies him.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

There comes John's sister. Such a dear girl as she is, and so careful of me! I must not let her find me writing. She is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession. I verily believe she thinks it is the writing which made me sick!

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John, Jennie
Related Symbols: The Diary
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:

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Fourth Entry Quotes

Dear John! He loves me very dearly, and hates to have me sick. I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk with him the other day, and tell him how I wish he would let me go and make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia.
But he said I wasn't able to go, nor able to stand it after I got there; and I did not make out a very good case for myself, for I was crying before I had finished.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

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Fifth Entry Quotes

Of course if you were in any danger, I could and would, but you really are better, dear, whether you can see it or not. I am a doctor, dear, and I know. You are gaining flesh and color, your appetite is better, I feel really much easier about you.

Related Characters: John (speaker), The Narrator
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

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Tenth Entry Quotes

I always lock the door when I creep by daylight. I can't do it at night, for I know John would suspect something at once.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eleventh Entry Quotes

John knows I don't sleep very well at night, for all I'm so quiet!
He asked me all sorts of questions, too, and pretended to be very loving and kind. As if I couldn't see through him!

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

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Twelfth Entry Quotes

"I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!"
Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), John, Jennie
Related Symbols: The Wallpaper, The Mysterious Figure
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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John Character Timeline in The Yellow Wallpaper

The timeline below shows where the character John appears in The Yellow Wallpaper. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Fifth Entry
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
Outward Appearance vs. Inner Life Theme Icon
The narrator describes an attempt she made to discuss her case with John the night before, as the moonlight crept in the windows. She lay awake watching the... (full context)
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Domestic Life Theme Icon
Outward Appearance vs. Inner Life Theme Icon
Self-Expression, Miscommunication, and Misunderstanding Theme Icon
In her memory, the narrator tells John that she wishes to leave the house. He objects to this notion, which he views... (full context)
Sixth Entry
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
Outward Appearance vs. Inner Life Theme Icon
Self-Expression, Miscommunication, and Misunderstanding Theme Icon
The narrator has been staying in bed even more, and John encourages her rest by making her lie down for an hour after each meal. She... (full context)
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
Self-Expression, Miscommunication, and Misunderstanding Theme Icon
The narrator is beginning to distrust both John and Jennie, and suspects that it is the wallpaper’s fault. The narrator once caught Jennie... (full context)
Seventh Entry
Mental Illness and its Treatment Theme Icon
Outward Appearance vs. Inner Life Theme Icon
Self-Expression, Miscommunication, and Misunderstanding Theme Icon
...an improvement in her mood. She says the change is due to the wallpaper, although John doesn’t know that and she ‘has no intention of telling him.’ She is fascinated by... (full context)