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The Life and Times of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Life and Times of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Published by KaleemRichards

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Published by: KaleemRichards on Oct 17, 2012
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05/13/2014

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The life and times of Charlotte Perkins Gilman Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born July 3, 1860.

She was very wealthy as she was part of the Beecher Family who was probably the most famous family in the United States at that time. Her father and mother had 3 children one who died in childbirth. In these times it was relatively normal to lose and child or mother in childbirth because they didn’t have the proper tools or equipment to make sure that the mother and baby would be secure. In fear of killing his wife by childbirth, Charlotte’s father left taking the family value. In those times a woman with no husband had no value in life, they were always classed lower than men in life. Eventually, like the conventional female she got married Charles Walter Stetson and had two children by him. She then went into a deep depression, which at time was not an interest of a doctor who were all male. The famous doctor ‘Silas Weir Mitchell’ ‘treated’ charlotte with his famous cure. 1) Extended and total bed rest’ 2) isolation from family and familiar surroundings 3) overfeeding 4) massage and use of electricity for muscular excitation. Eventually she was ordered to live a domestic life, and never touch a paintbrush or pen again. As she was a woman she had no say whether or not to do this. In modern day times if a woman loved dancing and was told she could never dance again, she would fight for her right to dance. However in this case she was told never to touch a pen again but she loved writing, she didn’t have a say because she would either face consequences. Women writers, were very rare but during the tough times of being isolated Charlotte wrote ‘the yellow wallpaper’ a book but also in the form of a diary. She hid her feelings and felt better writing them down. She said ‘it was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being crazy, and it worked’. The times were hard, women were patronized and had to obey there men as they were seen as possessions and lower classed. ‘I am forbidden to work again’ she has to obey orders or she will face consequences. In the end, she came out a strong woman by letting other women know that it was okay not to feel well and to be depressed, they didn’t need to go through crazy treatments or be diagnosed with ‘nervous breakdown’.

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