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".
mind, no trained forces to preserve order while agony entered. The thing swept over her, resistless, overwhelming. She cowered before the outraged wrath she expected; and from some hidden cavern that wrath arose and swept over her in pale flame. “Go and pack your trunk,” said Mrs. Marroner. “You will leave my house tonight. Here is your money.” She laid down the fifty-dollar bill. She put with it a month’s wages: She had no shadow of pity for those anguished eyes, those tears which she heard
farm.... No use keeping up two places.... Our lease is out in October you know.” He had left little gaps of silence between these blows, not longer than those required to heave up the axe for its full swing; and when he finished Mrs. Elder felt as if her head verily rolled in the basket. She moistened her lips, and looked at him rather piteously, saying nothing at first. She could not say anything. He arose from the easy depth of the chair, and came round the table, giving her a cursory kiss,
tell you that,” said Terry. We nodded agreeingly. “It’s right up among the hills—they must have brought us a long way.” “And pretty fast, too,” I added. “We saw some kind of swift-moving vehicles the first day,” Jeff reminded us. “If they’ve got motors, they are civilized.” “Civilized or not, we’ve got our work cut out for us to get away from here. I don’t propose to make a rope of bedclothes and try those walls till I’m sure there is no better way.” We all concurred on this point, and
declared. “Oh, no man! You mean that is one of your sex distinctions?” “No, indeed!” he said hastily. “No one, I mean, man or woman, would work without incentive. Competition is the—the motor power, you see.” “It is not with us,” they explained gently, “so it is hard for us to understand. Do you mean, for instance, that with you no mother would work for her children without the stimulus of competition?” No, he admitted that he did not mean that. Mothers, he supposed, would of course work for
it to me. While Terry and Alima struck sparks and parted—he always madly drawn to her and she to him—she must have been, or she’d never have stood the way he behaved—Ellador and I had already a deep, restful feeling, as if we’d always had one another. Jeff and Celis were happy; there was no question of that; but it didn’t seem to me as if they had the good times we did. Well, here is the Herland child facing life—as Ellador tried to show it to me. From the first memory, they knew Peace, Beauty,