Cultural Context Essay

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BIRTH OF EMPOWERED WOMEN Page | 4 Josephine Reid Professor Arthur Kelly EN120A Cultural Context Essay June 19, 2015 “Birth of Empowered Women” In the early 1900’s, the silent sufferings of women throughout history, were finally given life by the writings of women such as: Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Susan Glaspell. These writers were given the freedom of self-expression, previously denied to all women, enabling them to give women a voice never before heard by society. In fact, their impact had its rippling effect all the way up into the judicial system that we have today, by gaining the right for women to vote. Hence, the great transitional period from the silent wife to that of a self-empowered woman was born. In the early stages of the transitional period, women’s suffrage hit a climax that became the driving force behind Chopin, Gilman and Glaspell’s writings. These women suddenly found themselves armed with the ability to express themselves in ways that in real life, as a lady, was forbidden. In a sense, the pen set them free to live the life their hearts desired. In the course of a short story or novel they could rewrite themselves right out of reality and into a life obtainable only in dreams. However, when the pen stopped writing, they were jolted back into life’s harsh realities. The women of their era had labored day in, day out for their families with little or no compensation for their large contributions to the family. Men had their recognition outside the home and were defined by their jobs. However, the women were defined by their husbands and denied the ability to live for themselves, being deemed ill or insane if they attempted. Be that as it may, this conflict between freedom and confinement created the burning passion through which the early woman writers gained a voice in a society that had rejected them throughout history.

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