Herland, the Yellow Wall-Paper, and Selected Writings
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was an American sociologist, author, poet, and lecturer whose influential work and unorthodox lifestyle made her an icon for future generations of feminists. Much of her work criticized common perceptions of the role of women in marriage and society, and advocated educational, financial, and cultural equality for women. This edition features "Herland", a utopian novel about the exploration of an isolated, entirely female, society by three American men. Also included is her most famous work, "The Yellow Wall-Paper", a semi-autobiographical story written by Gilman in 1890 after a severe bout of post-partum depression. The story of a woman who is driven insane after three months trapped in her home, deprived of any mental stimulation, was a direct criticism of the doctor who "treated" Gilman's depression. The stories and poems in this collection were taken from newspapers, periodicals and Gilman's self-published magazine, "The Forerunner".
offensively; at any rate she learned more than the other of the true nature of the sudden civic growth. After both of them had turned in their reports, after all the other papers had sent down representatives, and later magazine articles had been written with impressive pictures, after the accounts of permitted visitors and tourists had been given, there came to be a fuller knowledge than was possible at first, naturally, but no one got a clearer vision of it all than was given to the woman
to it—at once. It makes me laugh, knowing all I do now, to think of us three boys—nothing else; three audacious impertinent boys—butting into an unknown country without any sort of a guard or defense. We seemed to think that if there were men we could fight them, and if there were only women—why, they would be no obstacles at all. Jeff, with his gentle romantic old-fashioned notions of women as clinging vines; Terry, with his clear decided practical theories that there were two kinds of
that Celis might not have had. Almost like the breathless reverence with which, two thousand years ago, that dwindling band of women had watched the miracle of virgin birth, was the deep awe and warm expectancy with which they greeted this new miracle of union. All mothers in that land were holy. To them, for long ages, the approach to motherhood has been by the most intense and exquisite love and longing, by the Supreme Desire, the overmastering demand for a child. Every thought they held in
common among us. With the lightest touch, different women asking different questions at different times, and putting all our answers together like a picture puzzle, they had figured out a sort of skeleton chart as to the prevalence of disease among us. Even more subtly with no show of horror or condemnation, they had gathered something—far from the truth, but something pretty clear—about poverty, vice, and crime. They even had a goodly number of our dangers all itemized, from asking us about
keeping the given word, each child was given a paid life membership in our society!” Again the house drew in its breath. Did not the end justify the means? He went on: “I have conferred with my fellow members, and we are united in our repudiation of this gift. The money is not ours. It was obtained by trick which the heathen themselves would scorn.” There was a shocked pause. Miss McCoy was purple in the face, and only kept her place for fear of drawing more attention if she strove to escape.