Example Of A Feminist Research Paper

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Feminist Literature: Giving Women a Voice in The Nineteenth Century “If all men are born free, then how is it that all women are born slaves?” Mary Astell challenged between 1668 and 1731 (Oxford Essential Quotations). If ever there was a question to set the stage for the Women’s Rights Movement years after Astell’s time, that was certainly it. Feminist literature during the nineteenth century brought forward many authors who reflectively wrote to reveal gender inequality in marriage and society based on true aspects of women’s lives during that time. Writers who participated in the movement through their works of literature included Henrik Ibsen, Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, and Kate Chopin. According to the online article from Encyclopedia.com …show more content…

First appearing in print in 1892, the story was about a woman who was an artist and a writer who had just given birth and fell ill with what is now known as postpartum depression. Her husband, John, was a doctor and regarded her mental illness, not as depression, but as “womanly hysteria,” according to the article from The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. John treated his wife like a child by speaking to her in condescending tones and referring to her as “his little girl.” The same article explained that both John and his sister believed the narrator’s writing was making her sick, so they forbade writing. Day after day, the narrator became more ill and fixated on a strange pattern in the yellow wallpaper in her room at the vacation home. Her fixation became an obsession which ultimately resulted in a complete mental breakdown. The narrator believed at first there was a woman in the wallpaper trying to get out, and she convinced herself she was the woman in the wallpaper. A summary of the article states, “On the day before the family is to leave the house, John comes home to find his wife creeping in circles about the nursery, surrounded by a mass of torn wallpaper. She calls out to her husband as he rushes into the room, ‘I’ve got out at last…in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most the paper, so you can’t put me back!’” The woman trapped in the wallpaper was symbolic of …show more content…

Published in 1894, the “woman question” was on America’s mind, which concerned what roles were acceptable for women in society. “The Story of an Hour” is about the story of an hour in the life of Mrs. Louise Mallard. Mrs. Mallard had a heart condition, and she learned that her husband had died in a railroad accident. At first, she was overwhelmingly upset, as expected, but when she went to her room to be alone, a completely different reaction was revealed to the reader. She was joyous and relieved, so it seemed. Exclaiming, “Free! Body and soul free!” the reader can draw the conclusion that Mrs. Mallard’s newfound sense of freedom because of her husband’s death came from no longer feeling imprisoned by the bonds of matrimony. Later, when she returned to her sister and Richards downstairs, and Mr. Mallard walked in, not deceased after all, then another unexpected response from Mrs. Mallard was witnessed. Because of the shock, her heart gave out, and she died. Though the doctor concluded that her death was a “joy that kills,” the reader would conclude quite the contrary, since she had become euphoric when she thought her husband was dead. Rather than dying because of joy learning her husband was alive, she died from the anguish that her

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