The Life and T*imes of an *Uno*rthodox Female*:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Jennifer M. Wareham
October 5, 2009
Dr. R. Pressman/ EN 2355 W A
The Life and Times of an Uno*rthodox Female*: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Influenced by her father’s passion for literature, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) became a world famous journalist, lecturer, and an early theorist of the feminine movement. She taught herself to read at the age of five. This paved the way for the succession of novels, short stories, poems, and other accomplishments and contributions she producedin her lifetime. She was a delegate for social reform and published her own magazine, The Forerunner (1909–1916), which aimed to arouse thought for sensitive subjects through her fictional writing. Gilman built her career by giving a voice to the women’s rights movement through her lectures and her written works. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story composed by Gilman which is the most widely studied of her works in classrooms around the world. Her focus audience was predominately women. Her unconventional style of writing aimed to desensitize the general population to accept that women suffrage was unjust. Gilman paralleled her life to her characters in her writings to express the problems of women being second class citizens in respect to men.
At the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one will find the bulk of Gilman’s work readily accessible (Gough 294). There are some excerpts of hers that have been lost or unpublished; few resources allow all of her pieces to be conclusive in the same publication. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was a short work that was widely published. This worked proved to be influential in several aspects. It was a best seller in the 1890’s. “The Yellow Wallpaper” premiered in the January 1892 issue of T_he New England Magazine (Gough 506)._ The message in the piece of literature focused on the mental anguish women...