Feminism During 19th Century American Short Stories

4097 Words17 Pages
Kaylee Gould
Ms. Henderson
3rd period
Feminism in Late 19th Century American Short Stories
Research Question: How is feminism revealed through the divergence of women’s roles in society and their own personal desires in the American short stories “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” “The Story of an Hour,” “The Storm,” and “Life in the Iron Mills”?
Introduction
Literature changes as current events change and as the structure of society begins to shift. American feminist literature started to become prevalent during the Victorian era, or around the latter part of the 19th century. This is the time when the first wave of feminism in the United States hit. The Seneca Falls Convention - the first women’s rights convention - and the emergence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony’s American Equal Rights Association in the middle of the 19th century are among some of the noteable events that sparked this movement in literature. Women across America were inspired by the changing of the times, and that is reflected in many American female authors’ writings.
Some of these authors include Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, and Rebecca Harding-Davis, whose short stories speak volumes about the thoughts and emotions of women during this time period. “Life in the Iron Mills” was written in 1861, “The Yellow Wall-Paper” in 1892, “The Story of an Hour” in 1894, and finally “The Storm” in 1898. Every story was written during the Victorian era; every author had personally experienced life
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