Women in Literature

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Who were the most important American female writers between 1865 to 1912? How these female writers changed history given what was going on at the time?

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celtic1108 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Without a doubt, I must say Charlotte Perkins Gillman and Sylvia Plath. Both Gilman and Plath were pioneers of the feminine voice of their generation. Gilman's classic "The Yellow Wall Paper" showed the dangers of feminine restrain and the need of freedom. Plath dealt with a different feminine voice, but nonetheless important to pay attention. Many like to through her aside due to her depression, but if we ignored works from authors whom suffered mental anguish, we would have nothing to read. Plath's poetry is where her voice rings free. It is easy to see the dualistic nature of Plath's mind in her poetry and this is the voice of women. We are both independent and dependent; free and restrained. Plath and Gilman must be read early and often. Yes, I know that Plath is not within the cut dates, but I cannot separate these women in my head; please forgive that.

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I would argue for Kate Chopin but not necessarily in regards to her writing style (even though I appreciate it).  Chopin was...

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