Charlotte Perkins Gilman Was an Important Social Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1274 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 14  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an important social activist and one of the leading figures in the woman's movement during the early Twentieth Century. She is also known for her theoretical contributions in which she helped expand the ideas and views of feminism; as well as for her novels and short stories that described the experiences of many women of her time. Possibly one of the most striking aspects of her life and work is the close correspondence between the events of her personal life and her views of women and their place in society.

She wrote extensively, producing volumes of articles and numerous books. Gilman wrote both factual theoretical works such as Women and Economics as well as other non-fiction books, novels and short stories. One of her best-known works is a short story entitled the Yellow Wallpaper. This work to a large extent parallels her own life and is based on personal experiences in the description of a woman's mental breakdown. She was a staunch advocate of women's rights and believed that the position and role of women in society should be changed for the better.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Charlotte Perkins Gilman Was an Important Social Assignment

Charlotte Gilman was born in 1860 in New England. Although she was born into the historically wealthy and influential Beecher family, she lived in poverty. An important aspect of her early life that could be seen to have had an influence on her later writing was the fact that her father abandoned the family when she was very young. Another factor is that she only received four years of formal education. Although she had vowed never to marry, she eventually married Charles Walter Stetson, an artist from Rhodes Island. After the birth of her daughter, Charlotte became depressed and suffered from this ailment for many years. This resulted in her admittance to a sanitarium in Philadelphia. Here she was subjected to the infamous "rest cure" which was essentially based on a system of deprivation that denied her any physical or intellectual stimulation. This proved to be another influential period in her life, which had an impact on her views and writing. After leaving the sanitarium she subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown and only recovered after she divorced her husband.

It was in the 1890's that her literary career started in earnest. This was the period in which she published the famous short story the Yellow Wallpaper and the book Women and Economics, amongst other works including poems. These two publications, particularly Women and Economics, established her name in the literary world. "With its publication and its subsequent translation into seven languages, Gilman earned international acclaim."

In this book she argues that "... women's secondary status in society, and especially their economic dependence on men, is not the result of biological inferiority but rather of culturally enforced behavior."

She married again in 1900, this time to her first cousin Houghton Gilman. She went on to write more than twenty books over the next 25 years. However she committed suicide at the age of seventy-five when she learnt that she had contracted cancer.

There is a strong correlation between her literary output and the events of her life. Her personality was defiant and she was very independently minded and preferred to rely on her own views rather then the opinions and assumptions of a male-dominated world.

Early in her life Gilman displayed the independence she later advocated for women: she insisted on payment for her household chores and she paid her mother room and board while supporting herself as a teacher and commercial artist. She had no desire for clothes and jewelry, preferring instead to engage in physical exercise and to read books of philosophy.

There were also many influences in her life that can be seen to have been a motivating force in the development of her views on feminism and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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