Essay on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Feminism

1740 Words 7 Pages
The adversity women endured in a patriarchal society during the nineteenth century gave birth to female feminism. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was one of the leading feminist during that time. Gilman strived for the oppressed women during the “Victorian Age”, she dedicated her life to social reform believing ever women should have equality. She opened the door for every day women to become involved and to be the masters of their own destiny. The subjugation Gilman faced in the nineteenth century as well as her own experience with postpartum depression greatly influenced her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gilman lived in a time of American history where women were subjugated against and using her own life experience, she wrote “The …show more content…
After Gilman’s father divorced her mother, she moved in with her great-aunts including feminist Catherine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stow and Isabella Beecher Hooker. Ironically enough, they were relatives of her father’s side of the family. Soon after following her great-aunts example of self-reliance, Gilman began her development in social reform. In the Mid-1870’s the foundation for women’s social reform occurred. Gilman used “The Yellow Wallpaper” in reaction to the oppression women endured during this time. She once stated that “one girl reads this, and takes fire! Her life is changed. She becomes in power-a mover of others- I write for her.” Gilman used her story to her advantage, to open the eyes of women in order to confront gender inequality and stop the subjugation of women. Critics have claimed that Gilman used the story as “a vehicle through which she explicated her feminist social beliefs.” Being a sophisticated, educated woman, Gilman used the power of speech to “preach” the inequality women suffered. Throughout the story evidence is found that Gilman deliberately tried to make the narrator (Jane) typical of women of that time. Jane is economically dependent on her husband, not allowed

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