After All There was Nothing Impossible in It: Polemic and Utopia in the Writing of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman begins the first essay in the first issue of her magazine The Forerunner with these words: "The ancient iconoclast pursued his idol-smashing with an ax. ... The modern iconoclast enters without noise, and dexterously replaces the old image with a new one" (Vol. 1, Nov. 1909). As a voice for Progressivism in the early twentieth century, Forerunner presented Gilman's feminist alternatives to traditional popular opinion. In this magazine published at the apex of her career, Gilman promotes the core. theme of all her iconoclastic writing: equality between the sexes. Although the thematic center of Gilman's work remains unchanged throughout her career, the paths she follows in exploration of that center evolve as her career progresses...