Exercising Influence, Hoping for Change - Ellen Feusahrens
By the mid 1800s, American feminism began gaining momentum. Women writers belonged to a small group of women whose voices had cultural weight, and they had to negotiate between the demands of their writing and their involvement in the feminist movement. At the turn of the century, Sarah Orne Jewett, Zitkala-Sa, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman each had their respective audiences and each had to balance her writing and her interest in the debate over the role of women in society. For each author, three years of her life and work are isolated in order to take an in-depth look at the influences of the feminist movement. To appreciate the complexities these writers had to face, both privately and publicly, their personal lives, the political atmosphere, and the writing produced are studied. Key questions are asked of each author: How did she respond to reform movements? How did she use her career to influence and change ideas about women in the United States? Spanning from the 1880s into the 1920s, Jewett, Zitkala-Sa, and Gilman each approached their work differently, and their work during this time highlights the complexity and connections of writing, politics, and life.
- Sarah Orne Jewett, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Zitkala-Sa Negotiate Feminism at the Turn of the Century
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