Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (2023)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860–August 17, 1935) was an American novelist and humanist. She was an outspoken lecturer, passionate about social reform, and notable for her views as a utopian feminist.

Fast Facts: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • Also Known As: Charlotte Perkins Stetson
  • Known For:Novelist and activist for feminist reform
  • Born:July 3, 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Parents:Frederic Beecher Perkins and Mary Fitch Wescott
  • Died: August 17, 1935 in Pasadena, California
  • Spouses:Charles Walter Stetson (m. 1884–94), Houghton Gilman (m. 1900–1934)
  • Children: Katharine Beecher Stetson
  • Selected Works: "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892), In This Our World (1893), Women and Economics(1898), The Home: Its Work and Influence (1903),
  • Notable Quote:“It is not that women are really smaller-minded, weaker-minded, more timid and vacillating, but that whosoever, man or woman, lives always in a small, dark place, is always guarded, protected, directed and restrained, will become inevitably narrowed and weakened by it.”

Early Life

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut, as the first daughter and second child of Mary Perkins (nee Mary Fitch Westcott) and Frederic Beecher Perkins. She had one brother, Thomas Adie Perkins, who was just over a year older than her. Although families at the time tended to be much larger than two children, Mary Perkins was advised to not have any more children at risk of her health or even her life.

When Gilman was still a small child, her father abandoned his wife and children, leaving them essentially destitute. Mary Perkins did her best to support her family, but she was unable to provide on her own. As a result, they spent a great deal of time with her father’s aunts, who included education activist Catharine Beecher, suffragist Isabella Beecher Hooker, and, most notably, Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Gilman was largely isolated during her childhood in Providence, Rhode Island, but she was highly self-motivated and read extensively.

Despite her natural and boundless curiosity—or, perhaps, especially because of it—Gilman was often a source of frustration to her teachers because she was a rather poor student. She was, however, particularly interested in the study of physics, even more so than history or literature. At the age of 18, in 1878, she enrolled herself at the Rhode Island School of Design, supported financially by her father, who had resumed contact enough to help out with finances, but not enough to truly be a presence in her life. With this education, Gilman was able to carve out a career for herself as an artist for trade cards, which were ornate precursors to the modern business card, advertising for businesses and directing clients to their stores. She also worked as a tutor and an artist.

Marriage and Emotional Turmoil

In 1884, Gilman, aged 24, married Charles Walter Stetson, a fellow artist. At first, she rejected his proposal, having had a deep-seated feeling that the marriage would not be a good choice for her. However, she did accept his proposal eventually. Their only child, a daughter named Katharine, was born in March 1885.

Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (1)

Becoming a mother had a profound impact on Gilman, but not in the way society expected. She was already prone to depression, and after giving birth, she suffered from severe postpartum depression. At the time, the medical profession was not equipped to deal with such complaints; indeed, in an era where women were considered “hysterical” beings by their very nature, their health problems were often dismissed as mere nerves or overexertion.

This is precisely what happened to Gilman, and it would become a formative influence on her writing and her activism. By 1887, Gilman wrote in her journals about such intense inner suffering that she was unable to even care for herself. Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell was summoned to help, and he prescribed a “rest cure,” which essentially required that she give up all creative pursuits, keep her daughter with her at all times, avoid any activities that required mental exertions, and live a totally sedentary lifestyle. Instead of curing her, these restrictions—prescribed by Miller and enforced by her husband—only made her depression worse, and she began to have suicidal thoughts. Ultimately, she and her husband decided that a separation was the best solution to allow Gilman to heal without causing more harm to herself, him, or their daughter. They separated in 1888—a rarity and a scandal for the era—and eventually finalized a divorce six years later, in 1894. Upon moving away in 1888, Gilman’s depression began to lift, and she embarked on a steady recovery. Gilman’s experience with depression and her first marriage influenced her writing heavily.

(Video) CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN - AMERICAN AUTHOR & ACTIVIST

Short Stories and Feminist Exploration (1888-1902)

  • Art Gems for the Home and Fireside (1888)
  • "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1899)
  • In This Our World (1893)
  • "The Elopement" (1893)
  • The Impress (1894-1895; home to several poems and short stories)
  • Women and Economics(1898)

After leaving her husband, Gilman made some major personal and professional changes. During that first year of separation, she met Adeline “Delle” Knapp, who became her close friend and companion. The relationship was, most likely, romantic, with Gilman believing that she could perhaps have a successful, lifelong relationship with a woman, rather than her failed marriage to a man. The relationship ended, and she moved, along with her daughter, to Pasadena, California, where she became active in several feminist and reformist organizations. After starting to support herself and Katharine as a door-to-door soap saleswoman, she eventually became an editor for the Bulletin, a journal put out by one of her organizations.

Gilman's first book was Art Gems for the Home and Fireside (1888), but her most famous story wouldn’t be written until two years later. In June 1890, she spent two days writing the short story that would become "The Yellow Wallpaper"; it wouldn’t be published until 1892, in the January issue of The New England Magazine. To this day, it remains the most popular and most acclaimed work of hers.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" depicts a woman’s struggle with mental illness and obsession with a room’s ugly wallpaper after she has been confined to her room for three months for her health, on her husband’s orders. The story is, quite obviously, inspired by Gilman’s own experiences with being prescribed a “rest cure,” which was exactly the opposite of what she—and her story’s protagonist—needed. Gilman sent a copy of the published story to Dr. Mitchell, who had prescribed that “cure” for her.

Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (2)

For 20 weeks in 1894 and 1895, Gilman served as the editor of The Impress, a literary magazine published weekly by the Pacific Coast Women's Press Association. Along with being the editor, she contributed poems, short stories, and articles. Her non-traditional lifestyle—as an unashamed single mother and a divorcee—turned off many readers, however, and the magazine soon shuttered.

Gilman embarked on a four-month lecture tour in early 1897, leading her to think more about the roles of sexuality and economics in American life. Based on this, she wrote Women and Economics, published in 1898. The book focused on the role of women, both in the private and public spheres. With recommendations on changing accepted practices of child-rearing, housekeeping, and other domestic tasks, Gilman advocated for ways to take some domestic pressure off women so that they could participate more fully in public life.

Editor of Her Own (1903-1916)

  • The Home: Its Work and Influence (1903)
  • The Forerunner (1909 - 1916; published dozens of stories and articles)
  • “What Diantha Did" (1910)
  • The Crux (1911)
  • Moving the Mountain (1911)
  • Herland (1915)
(Video) The Life and Times of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

In 1903, Gilman wrote The Home: Its Work and Influence, which became one of her most critically acclaimed works. It was a sequel or expansion of sorts on Women and Economics, proposing outright that women needed the opportunity to expand their horizons. She recommended that women be permitted to expand their environments and experiences in order to maintain good mental health.

From 1909 to 1916, Gilman was the sole writer and editor of her own magazine, The Forerunner, in which she published countless stories and articles. With her publication, she specifically hoped to present an alternative to the highly sensationalized mainstream newspapers of the day. Instead, she wrote content that was intended to spark thought and hope. Over the course of seven years, she produced 86 issues and gained around 1,500 subscribers who were fans of the works appearing (often in serialized form) in the magazine, including “What Diantha Did" (1910), The Crux (1911), Moving the Mountain (1911), and Herland (1915).

Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (3)

Many of the works she published during this time depicted the feminist improvements to society that she advocated, with women taking on leadership and depicting stereotypically female qualities as positives, not objects of scorn. These works also largely advocated for women working outside the home and for the sharing of domestic tasks equally between husbands and wives.

During this period, Gilman revived her own romantic life as well. In 1893, she had contacted her cousin Houghton Gilman, a Wall Street attorney, and they began a correspondence. In time, they fell in love, and they began spending time together whenever her schedule permitted it. They married in 1900, in what was a much more positive marital experience for Gilman than her first marriage, and they lived in New York City until 1922.

Lecturer for Social Activism (1916-1926)

After her run of The Forerunner ended, Gilman did not cease writing. Instead, she continually submitted articles to other publications, and her writing ran in several of them, including the Louisville Herald,The Baltimore Sun, and theBuffalo Evening News.She also began work on her autobiography, titled The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in 1925; it was not published until after her death in 1935.

In the years after the shuttering of The Forerunner, Gilman continued to travel and lecture as well. She also published one more full-length book, Our Changing Morality, in 1930. In 1922, Gilman and her husband moved back to his homestead in Norwich, Connecticut, and they lived there for the next 12 years. Houghton died unexpectedly in 1934 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, and Gilman returned to Pasadena, where her daughter Katharine still lived.

Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (4)

In the final years of her life, Gilman wrote significantly less than before. Aside from Our Changing Morality, she only published three articles after 1930, all of which dealt with social issues. Ironically, her final publication, which came in 1935, was titled “The Right to Die” and was an argument in favor of the right of the dying to choose when to die rather than suffer a drawn-out illness.

(Video) Charlotte Perkins Gilman Biography - Feminist, The Yellow Wallpaper | Great Woman's Biography |

Literary Style and Themes

First and foremost, Gilman’s work deals with themes relevant to the lives and social condition of women. She believed that the patriarchal society, and the limitations of women to domestic life in particular, oppressed women and kept them from reaching their potential. In fact, she tied the need for women to no longer be oppressed to the very survival of society, arguing that society could not progress with half the population underdeveloped and oppressed. Her stories, therefore, depicted women who took on roles of leadership that would typically belong to men and did a good job.

Notably, Gilman was somewhat in conflict with other leading feminist voices of her era because she viewed stereotypically feminine traits in a positive light. She expressed frustration with the gendered socialization of children and the expectation that a woman be happy about being restricted to a domestic (and sexual) role, but did not devalue them the way that men and some feminist women did. Instead, she used her writings to show women using their traditionally devalued qualities to show strength and a positive future.

Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American Novelist (5)

Her writings, however, were not progressive in all senses. Gilman wrote of her conviction that Black Americans were inherently inferior and had not progressed at the same rate as their White counterparts (although she did not contemplate the role those same White counterparts might have played in slowing said progress). Her solution was, essentially, a more polite form of enslavement: forced labor for Black Americans, only to be paid wages once the costs of the labor program were covered. She also suggested that British-descended Americans were being bred out of existence by influxes of immigrants. For the most part, these views were not expressed in her fiction, but ran through her articles.

Death

In January 1932, Gilman was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her prognosis was terminal, but she lived for another three years. Even prior to her diagnosis, Gilman had advocated for the option of euthanasia for the terminally ill, which she put into action for her own end-of-life plans. She left a note behind, stating that she “chose chloroform over cancer,” and on August 17, 1935, she quietly ended her own life with an overdose of chloroform.

Legacy

For the most part, Gilman’s legacy has largely been focused on her views on gender roles in the home and in society. By far, her best known work is the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which is popular in literature classes in high school and college. In some ways, she left behind a remarkably progressive legacy for her time: she advocated for women to be allowed full participation in society, pointed out the frustrating double standard women of her time were held to, and did so without criticizing or devaluing stereotypically feminine traits and actions. However, she also left behind a legacy of more controversial beliefs.

Gilman’s work has been continually published in the century since her death. Literary critics have largely focused on her short stories, poems, and nonfiction book-length works, with less interest in her published articles. Still, she left behind an impressive body of work and remains a cornerstone of many American literature studies.

Sources

  • Davis, Cynthia J.Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography. Stanford University Press, 2010.
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography.New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1935; NY: Arno Press, 1972; and Harper & Row, 1975.
  • Knight, Denise D., ed. The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,2 vols. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994.

FAQs

What was Charlotte Perkins Gilman most famous work and why is it important? ›

Today, she is best known for a short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." During her lifetime, Gilman worked to promote woman suffrage, the professionalization of domestic work, and the social purity movement (which sought to abolish prostitution and establish a common "age of consent".

What is the main reason why Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

“Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” deals directly with the postpartum depression she suffered from, and her hopes that the story would enlighten other women who had similar experiences.

Did Charlotte Perkins Gilman marry her cousin? ›

Perkins expanded on such ideas in Concerning Children (1900) and The Home (1903). In June 1900 she married a cousin, George H. Gilman, with whom she lived in New York City until 1922.

What is the author's message in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The Yellow Wallpaper enlightens the reader on women's health, motherhood, mental breakdown and its treatment, as well as feminism and gender relations in late 19th-century America.

What does The Yellow Wallpaper represent? ›

Clearly, the wallpaper represents the structure of family, medicine, and tradition in which the narrator finds herself trapped. Wallpaper is domestic and humble, and Gilman skillfully uses this nightmarish, hideous paper as a symbol of the domestic life that traps so many women.

What is Charlotte Gilman known for? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a noted writer, lecturer, economist, and theorist who fought for women's domestic rights and women's suffrage in the early 1900s.

What happened to Charlotte Perkins Gilman? ›

In 1900, Gilman had married for the second time. She wed her cousin George Gilman, and the two stayed together until his death in 1934. The next year she discovered that she had inoperable breast cancer. Gilman committed suicide on August 17, 1935.

Was Charlotte Perkins Gilman a radical? ›

No celebration of Women's History Month would be complete without acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Gilman was the most important feminist thinker in the United States.

What is the significance of the ending of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

At the end of the story, the narrator believes that the woman has come out of the wallpaper. This indicates that the narrator has finally merged fully into her psychosis, and become one with the house and domesticated discontent.

What happens to the narrator at the end of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

At the end of the story, as her husband lies on the floor unconscious, she crawls over him, symbolically rising over him. This is interpreted as a victory over her husband at the expense of her sanity.

What is the central irony of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The central irony of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is that the rest cure treatment prescribed for the main character does the opposite of what the treatment is intended to do. Rather than help her recover from what is likely postpartum depression, the treatment causes her illness to develop into full psychosis.

What type of feminist is Gilman? ›

Gilman was an American socialist feminist. She experienced post-natal depression and was confined to one room by her husband, when she actually needed freedom and stimulation. From this, she developed a critique of the roles of females in society, which she saw as androcentric (male-centred).

How does the narrator's relationship with her husband evolve change in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

How does the narrator's relationship with the husband evolve/change? Does her mental state improve or worsen? It changes as she becomes more self aware. The times she spending thinking and writing and looking at the wallpaper changes her outlook on things.

Where is Charlotte Perkins from? ›

One of America's first feminists, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote fiction and nonfiction works promoting the cause of women's rights. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut; her father left the family when she was young, and her mother and the children often lived with relatives.

What major themes are developed throughout Gilman's story? ›

Her condition is not helped by the fact that her husband has forced her to inhabit a room with irritating features, namely the wallpaper. The story contains themes of entrapment, resignation, paranoia and the male domination of the time. The story was written in 1892, before women had gained the right to vote.

What effect does the first person point of view of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The author's use of the first person to convey the story allows readers to go along for the ride into madness and cultivates a certain amount of sympathy for the narrator and her plight. The constant use of "I" puts us right in the narrator's head and allows us to empathize with her.

What is the most important symbol in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The yellow wallpaper in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a symbol of society and patriarchy. It is ugly, faded, and torn in some spots, and a figure of a woman is trapped in the paper. It symbolizes women, or the woman in the story, being trapped within the constraints of a patriarchal society.

What are two symbols in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The “repellant yellow wallpaper” is symbolic of this repressive society. The creeping woman who eventually finds her way out of the paper, is symbolic of the narrator in the story finally breaking free from the constraints of society. The narrators madness is the only option for her to find freedom.

What does the creeping woman in the story yellow wallpaper represents? ›

“Creeping” in the story by Charlotte P. Gilman symbolizes the struggle of women to overcome domestic captivity. The word appears in the text many times. It adds to the story's creepy air that unfolds around a woman who became a domestic violence victim.

Who are the main characters of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The Yellow Wallpaper

How many books did Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

When was Gilman considered a success as a writer? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman won much attention in 1892 for publishing “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a semi-autobiographical short story dealing with mental health and contemporary social expectations for women.

What is the setting in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

setting (place)America, in a large summer home (or possibly an old asylum), primarily in one bedroom within the house.

How does The Yellow Wallpaper relate to today? ›

“The Yellow Wallpaper” remains extremely relevant today as women continue to work to gain equal rights as men. The constant struggle for equality of women in the workforce and for equal opportunities is still heavily prevalent today.

Was Charlotte Perkins Gilman religious? ›

Answer and Explanation: Charlotte Perkins Gilman did not subscribe to conventional religion. She believed that all world religions perpetuated a patriarchal society, and she was a proponent for a woman's religion.

What wave of feminism was Charlotte Perkins Gilman in? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a trailblazer within the women's movement, a prominent figure within the first-wave of feminism and is perhaps best-known for her story entitled 'The Yellow Wallpaper. ' It is a tale of a woman who suffers from mental illness after being closeted in a room by her husband.

What are the main features of liberal feminism? ›

1.1 Personal Autonomy
  • 1 Procedural Accounts of Personal Autonomy. Egalitarian-liberal feminists hold that women should enjoy personal autonomy. ...
  • 2 Fairness in Personal Relationships. ...
  • 3 Personal Autonomy and Human Flourishing. ...
  • 4 Personal Autonomy and the State.
18 Oct 2007

What is the difference between difference and equality feminism? ›

' Difference feminism is therefore associated with the view that women are superior to men, whereas equality feminists adopt the objective of gender equality. Equality feminists derive from the left of the political spectrum.

What illness does the woman in The Yellow Wallpaper have? ›

In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the female narrator goes through a temporary nervous depression due to childbirth; in an attempt to help, her husband prescribes for her a treatment where she is confined to an old nursery room with yellow wallpaper for three months.

Why does the husband faint at the end of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The reason for John to faint at the end of the story is his shock provoked by the wife's mental state. He prescribes the “rest therapy” to eliminate any distressing events that could worsen his wife's depression.

Who dies in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

There is a scene where we see Jane scraping the wallpaper off the wall and placing the bits and pieces in the vines outdoors. This symbolizes how the wallpaper and the vines have become one and the same false façade that has her trapped. In the final moments of the film, Jane hangs herself.

Why does the speaker begin to fear her husband? ›

Why does the speaker begin to fear her husband? He became strange and curious. She's afraid that he will figure out the pattern in the wallpaper before her.

What does the narrator believe is the best cure for her? ›

The best cure for her is doing things she enjoys a believe that would be the best cure for her because that would make her forget about what worries her and depresses her. Her husband's brother believe they care for her is to be alone in a room without anyone.

Who does the narrator think she is at the end of the story? ›

The narrator thinks she is the woman in the yellow wallpaper.

What does the narrator mean when she says I've got out at last in spite of you and Jane? ›

She says “I've got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!” (387). This symbolizes the wife finally realizing how and why she's been trapped in her life.

What is the literary term irony? ›

In simplest terms, irony occurs in literature AND in life whenever a person says something or does something that departs from what they (or we) expect them to say or do.

What do you understand by dramatic irony? ›

dramatic irony, a literary device by which the audience's or reader's understanding of events or individuals in a work surpasses that of its characters.

How did Charlotte Perkins Gilman impact society? ›

Today, she is best known for a short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." During her lifetime, Gilman worked to promote woman suffrage, the professionalization of domestic work, and the social purity movement (which sought to abolish prostitution and establish a common "age of consent".

What did Charlotte Gilman Believe? ›

She believed that womankind was the underdeveloped half of humanity, and improvement was necessary to prevent the deterioration of the human race. Gilman believed economic independence is the only thing that could really bring freedom for women and make them equal to men.

What are the types of feminism? ›

  • Kinds of Feminism.
  • Liberal Feminism.
  • Radical Feminism.
  • Marxist and Socialist Feminism.
  • Cultural Feminism.
  • Eco-Feminism.
  • I-Feminism new wave? http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/

How does John view his wife? ›

He cares for his wife, but the unequal relationship in which they find themselves prevents him from truly understanding her and her problems. By treating her as a “case” or a “wife” and not as a person with a will of her own, he helps destroy her, which is the last thing he wants.

What is the marriage relationship like between the narrator and John? ›

What is the relationship like between John and the narrator? It is a loving relationship, in which both parties have an equal say in matters. John is a pushover to the narrator's every whim and complaint. The narrator secretly hates John and wants out of their marriage as quickly as possible.

What diagnosis does Gilman's narrator get from her husband and her brother in the story? ›

In this lesson about ''The Yellow Wallpaper'', a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we learned that the narrator's husband, John, is a physician who diagnoses his wife with a mild case of hysteria. In the nineteenth century, hysteria was thought to primarily afflict women and wasn't well understood.

What inspired Charlotte Perkins Gilman to write? ›

Gilman married artist Charles Stetson in 1884, but domestic life proved unsuited to her, and after the birth of their daughter, Katharine, she began to suffer from depression. This experience inspired her to her famous short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) about a woman's descend into madness.

Was Charlotte Perkins married? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Why did Charlotte Perkins Gilman leave her husband? ›

In May 1884 she married Charles W. Stetson, an artist. She soon proved to be totally unsuited to the domestic routine of marriage, and after a year or so she was suffering from melancholia, which eventuated in complete nervous collapse.

When was Gilman considered a success as a writer? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman won much attention in 1892 for publishing “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a semi-autobiographical short story dealing with mental health and contemporary social expectations for women.

How many books did Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

What are some of the themes in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The main themes in “The Yellow Wallpaper” are the oppressive nature of gender roles, appearance versus reality, and the need for self-expression.

Who published The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The Yellow Wallpaper, short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in New England Magazine in May 1892 and in book form in 1899.

What is Charlotte Gilman known for? ›

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a noted writer, lecturer, economist, and theorist who fought for women's domestic rights and women's suffrage in the early 1900s.

What happened to Charlotte Perkins Gilman? ›

In 1900, Gilman had married for the second time. She wed her cousin George Gilman, and the two stayed together until his death in 1934. The next year she discovered that she had inoperable breast cancer. Gilman committed suicide on August 17, 1935.

Was Charlotte Perkins Gilman a radical? ›

No celebration of Women's History Month would be complete without acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Gilman was the most important feminist thinker in the United States.

Who are the main characters of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

The Yellow Wallpaper

How does the narrator's relationship with her husband evolve change in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

How does the narrator's relationship with the husband evolve/change? Does her mental state improve or worsen? It changes as she becomes more self aware. The times she spending thinking and writing and looking at the wallpaper changes her outlook on things.

Where is Charlotte Perkins from? ›

One of America's first feminists, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote fiction and nonfiction works promoting the cause of women's rights. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut; her father left the family when she was young, and her mother and the children often lived with relatives.

What is the main conflict in the story The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

major conflictThe struggle between the narrator and her husband, who is also her doctor, over the nature and treatment of her illness leads to a conflict within the narrator's mind between her growing understanding of her own powerlessness and her desire to repress this awareness.

What is the irony in The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

Dramatic irony is used extensively in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” For example, when the narrator first describes the bedroom John has chosen for them, she attributes the room's bizarre features—the “rings and things” in the walls, the nailed-down furniture, the bars on the windows, and the torn wallpaper—to the fact that ...

What is the conclusion of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

At the end of the story, the narrator regains control of her life, and this scares her husband to a point where he even faints.

Why is The Yellow Wallpaper a feminist story? ›

“The Yellow Wallpaper” gives an account of a woman driven to madness as a result of the Victorian “rest-cure,” a once frequently prescribed period of inactivity thought to cure hysteria and nervous conditions in women.

What happens to the narrator at the end of The Yellow Wallpaper? ›

By the end, the narrator is hopelessly insane, convinced that there are many creeping women around and that she herself has come out of the wallpaper—that she herself is the trapped woman. She creeps endlessly around the room, smudging the wallpaper as she goes.

How does The Yellow Wallpaper relate to today? ›

“The Yellow Wallpaper” remains extremely relevant today as women continue to work to gain equal rights as men. The constant struggle for equality of women in the workforce and for equal opportunities is still heavily prevalent today.

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3. Who Was Charlotte Perkins Gilman? Herland, With Her In Ourland, and Personhood
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6. Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society - "New Readings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s _Herland_"
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