Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Beecher family Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: October 20, 2013

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a Women's rights activist and a fantastic writer. She was a passionate feminist in an era in which women needed a powerful role model such as herself. She toured the United States giving lectures on social reform and sharing her views and opinions on Women's rights. Unfortunately, she suffered from severe depression which was both a gift and a curse. The gift came in form of her writing. It gave her a deep passion which channeled into something spectacular; her most well-know short-story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. However, this unfortunate gift would also eventually lead to her demise.

Charlotte Anna Perkins was born on July 3, 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut to parents Mary Fitch Wescott and Frederic Beecher Perkins. She had only one sibling; a brother named Thomas Adie. She was a niece to writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin), who became a major role model and a big push towards writing for Gilman. When she was still just a baby, her father abandoned the family, leaving them devastated and impoverished.

Her mother was not like most. She has different views on human relationships and was not a very affectionate mother either. In Gilman's autobiography The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman she shares that her mother only showed affection to her when she thought her daughter was asleep. She also states that her mother banned her (and her brother) from developing close relationships with other people or children at school because she didn't want them becoming reliant on human affection. Perhaps this unusual and unfortunate upbringing was what lead to her depression.

In 1878, she began taking classes at the Rhode Island School of Design. In order to put herself through school, she began tutoring. She also worked as a freelance commercial artist making trade cards and such. It was in Rhode Island where she met a fellow artist named Charles Walter Stetson. Though Gilman had some doubts and uncertainty, she reluctantly...
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