Women Writers of the Gilded Age
Literary Period of Realism
Chopin wrote both novels and short stories.
"The Story of an Hour" Assignment
- Read the section titled "Context"and "Biographical information" (for Kate Chopin) preceding this assignment.
- Read "The Story of an Hour" (and the information following in the document), noting the inferences/impressions you make in regard to Mrs. Mallard's character as well as the extent to which she represents middle-upper class women of the Gilded Age.
Gilman's Early Years
- Born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut
- Had a difficult childhood.
- Her father, Frederick Beecher Perkins (relative to the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe) abandoned the family, leaving Charlotte's mother to raise two children on her own.
- Her education suffered greatly due to her often transient family life.
Marriage and Inspiration
- Married to artist Charles Stetson in 1884 for 10 years
- Had daughter named Katherine.
- Experienced a severe depression and underwent a series of unusual treatments called the "Rest Cure".
- This experience is believed to have inspired her best-known short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"(1892).
Women's Healthcare at the Turn of the Century
Her Cause: Women's Rights
- Successful feminist lecturer and intellectual
- Called for women to gain economic independence
- One of her greatest works of nonfiction: Women and Economics (1898)
- Established The Forerunner magazine where she expressed her ideas on women's issues and on social reform
- Married for the second time in 1900. 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. Committed suicide on August 17, 1935.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" Assignment
Read each of the following:
1. Domesticity in Turn of the Century Literature
2. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
3. "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
4. After reading "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "The Story of an Hour," write a response comparing the two women in the stories and discussing the extent to which each represents a middle to upper-class woman in the Gilded Age. Type in Google Docs and submit through Classroom.