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Ch 8: Early 20th-Century Feminist Short Stories

About This Chapter

Get an overview of early 20th-century feminist short stories with this comprehensive literature chapter. These bite-sized lessons and quizzes offer you a quick way to study for upcoming literature exams and improve your literary analysis skills.

Early 20th-Century Feminist Short Stories - Chapter Summary

Work through this literature chapter at your own pace to examine the literary elements of early 20th-century feminist short stories. The chapter's expertly taught lessons analyze important short stories from a number of authors, including Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Alice Munro. When you're finished with each lesson, try the accompanying self-assessment quiz to see how well you understand the material. Our instructors are also happy to answer any questions you may have. The chapter is accessible on any computer or mobile device. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of American feminist literature
  • Summarize and analyze Chopin's ''Story of an Hour,'' Glaspell's ''A Jury of Her Peers,'' Munro's ''Fits'' and Gilman's ''The Yellow Wallpaper''
  • Analyse the setting, characters, themes and symbols from ''Story of an Hour'' and ''A Good Man is Hard to Find''
  • Evaluate the life and works of author Alice Munro
  • Recognize the major themes and literary devices from Munro's ''An Ounce of Cure''
  • Explain the use of figurative language in ''The Yellow Wallpaper,'' as well as the story's perspective on women's rights

13 Lessons in Chapter 8: Early 20th-Century Feminist Short Stories
American Feminist Literature: Definition & Characteristics

1. American Feminist Literature: Definition & Characteristics

Welcome to the world of American feminist literature! Meet a few well-known American feminist writers. Learn their histories and what inspired them. Read on to learn more about this fascinating genre!

Kate Chopin's 'Story of an Hour': Summary and Analysis

2. Kate Chopin's 'Story of an Hour': Summary and Analysis

In this lesson, we will examine the plot and characters of Kate Chopin's most widely read short story, 'The Story of an Hour.' We will consider the ways in which the author's topics of marriage and independence reflect her feminist sensibilities and make this an early work of feminist literature.

The Story of an Hour: Setting & Characters

3. The Story of an Hour: Setting & Characters

There's not much room in 'The Story of an Hour' to create a detailed setting or to introduce a litany of characters. However, Kate Chopin uses her limited characters and setting to tell a powerful story. Learn more about them when you read this lesson.

The Story of an Hour: Theme & Symbolism

4. The Story of an Hour: Theme & Symbolism

Though Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour' can be read in a short amount of time, it's still thematically rich and full of symbolism. Keep reading to learn more about this short story's liberating theme and the symbols that represent it in this lesson!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper: Summary & Analysis

5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson, we will examine the famous short story The Yellow Wallpaper. We will consider the ways in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the story to communicate about her own difficult experiences post-birth. Additionally, we will discuss her use of fiction as a vehicle to reveal what she felt was the less-than-equal existence of women during the 19th century.

The Yellow Wallpaper & Women's Rights

6. The Yellow Wallpaper & Women's Rights

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' amply demonstrates the conventional expectations placed on women. These expectations seemingly imprison women much as the wallpaper does. To assert their independence, they must remove the bars imposed by patriarchal society.

The Yellow Wallpaper Figurative Language

7. The Yellow Wallpaper Figurative Language

This lesson will teach readers about the types of figurative language that Charlotte Perkins Gilman used to enhance her descriptions in her 1892 feminist short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'

A Good Man is Hard to Find: Characters & Setting

8. A Good Man is Hard to Find: Characters & Setting

This lesson will provide you with a synopsis of a well-known work in the Southern Gothic genre, Flannery O'Connor's short story 'A Good Man is Hard to Find.' Explore the descriptions of its setting and main characters, then test your understanding with a few quiz questions.

A Good Man is Hard to Find: Theme & Symbolism

9. A Good Man is Hard to Find: Theme & Symbolism

Sure, everybody makes mistakes, but what does it take to learn from them? Find out what lengths one proud grandma has to go to when we explore the theme and symbols in Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man is Hard to Find.'

Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers: Summary & Analysis

10. Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers: Summary & Analysis

A man has been murdered, and it seems his wife is to blame in Susan Glaspell's 'A Jury of Her Peers.' In this lesson, we will summarize the plot before looking at how Glaspell uses setting and characters to create meaning in her story.

Alice Munro: Biography, Quotes & Nobel Prize

11. Alice Munro: Biography, Quotes & Nobel Prize

Short stories have sometimes been considered the equivalent of the less talented, less insightful, 3rd removed cousin of the literary world. However, Alice Munro leaves no doubt that short stories can stand on their own as great literary pieces. This lesson offers a biographical overview of short story writer and Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro, as well as some of Mrs. Munro's important quotations.

Fits by Alice Munro: Summary & Analysis

12. Fits by Alice Munro: Summary & Analysis

When was the last time you threw a ~'fit~' or tried to ~'fit~' in? There are so many uses for the word ~'fit,~' a worthy title for this Alice Munro short story. In this lesson, we'll summarize the piece and analyze its meaning.

An Ounce of Cure by Alice Munro: Themes & Literary Devices

13. An Ounce of Cure by Alice Munro: Themes & Literary Devices

This lesson will identify some major themes in the short story ~'~'An Ounce of Cure~'~' by Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro and examine how Munro uses literary devices to develop these themes.

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