Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an activist, author, and poet was born on July 3, 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman is most known for her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a feminist piece on women gaining independence. Gilman is also known for her other works on topics such as the necessity of work for woman as well as her ideas on a utopian society, and social activism for women. Gilman is also credited with starting a newspaper, The Forerunner. Gilman was born into a prominent family yet faced troubles when her father left the family. Being an activist led Gilman to fight for change as women of her day faced many issues with social acceptance. Identity is a recurrent theme in the work of Gilman; pieces of her identity can be perceived in works of hers such as “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Women and Economics.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born Charlotte Anna Perkins. Gilman was born in an illustrious and notorious lineage, but also one that bequeathed her conflicting models for womanhood. Gilman was the daughter of Frederick Beecher Perkins of the noted Beecher family, and Mary A. Fitch Westcott a descendant of one of Rhode Island’s founders. From the Beecher-Perkins side, Gilman received a relentlessly demanding legacy to take pride in her womanhood, to courageously assert her own viewpoint, to be fearless in the face of censure, and to achieve through serving society at large. The Westcott side brought a heritage more traditionally feminine, though comparably independent-minded. Between both sides, Gilman was in secure social standings within a white Anglo-Saxon, protestant middle class, with ministers, lawyers, and educators predominating (Kessler 14).
Gilman’s great grandfather was Lyman Beecher, who married his only chil...

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Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, Denise D. Knight, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The Abridged Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1998. Print.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution. Boston: Small, Maynard &, 1899. Print.
Kessler, Carol Farley., and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Her Progress toward Utopia with Selected Writings. New York: Syracuse UP, 1995. Print.
Miskolcze, Robin. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman (3 July 1860-17 August 1935)". American Women Prose Writers, 1870-1920. Ed. Sharon M. Harris, Heidi L.M. Jacobs, and Jennifer Putzi. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 221. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. 148-158. Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online. Gale. . 22 November 2013
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