Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1860...

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1860 – 1935 Oppressed by her unhappy marriage Suffered from recurring mental breakdowns/depression o Taken to S. Weir Mitchell Neurologist known for ‘rest-cure’ for nervous disorders Required isolation from self expression and intellectual growth that had sustained her independence (no writing, painting, reading) Her husband (physician) and her physician tell her to pull to pull away, don’t think don’t try to engage in active expression it will only make things worse Saw the world as a place where individuals were smothered by the power of convention and authority o Women were being entrapped by their innocence and up-bringing Rejected the expected submissive role of ‘proper’ nineteenth century married women Refused to subside into life of subservience and service to her husband o Focused instead on painting and writing Moved to California, got a divorce, became a writer/lecturer on women’s right Reads like a journal Short punchy thoughts Speaking to the reader Recent years has been called “ancestral mothers” of modern feminist movement o Wrote prolifically on a wide variety of political, social, and economic topics Poverty, health care, civil justice, the right of labor Writing was hasty – quick response to the questions of the day Her fiction was often stereotyped, repetitious stories of women who take charge of their lives, break the restraints imposed by a “masculinist” society, and are thereby destined to live happily ever after The Yellow Wall-Paper Called one of the best horror stories of the 19 th century Has many elements of gothic horror tales o The female in distress “What can one do” = powerless o The isolated mansion o The locked room Misinterprets psych ward/prison as child’s play room Barred windows / the floor is scratched and gauged and splintered / the wall paper is ripped off within arms reach of the be / bed is heavy an bolted to the floor Men perpetrated an ideological prison that subjected and silenced women. o
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1860...

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