Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman was an American author born in Massachusetts in 1852. Her stories often revolve around the lives of women in small New England towns, focusing on their struggles and relationships in a world that often oppressed them. Her works are known for their realism, vivid descriptions, and insightful characterizations.
Freeman’s stories are widely available online, and they offer a glimpse into a bygone era of American life. In her stories, she explores the complexities of domestic life and the challenges faced by women who are often confined to the home. Her characters are richly drawn and multifaceted, ranging from strong-willed and independent to timid and vulnerable.
One of Freeman’s most famous stories is “The Revolt of ‘Mother’,” which was first published in 1890. The story is set in rural New England and follows a woman named Sarah Penn who rebels against her husband’s decision to build a new barn instead of a new house for their family. Sarah’s strength and determination in the face of her husband’s opposition is a testament to Freeman’s ability to capture the spirit of women in her writing.
Another notable story is “A New England Nun,” first published in 1891. The story follows the life of Louisa Ellis, a woman who has lived alone for 15 years in a small New England town while waiting for her fiancé to return from Australia. When he finally does return, Louisa must grapple with the prospect of giving up her independence and conforming to traditional gender roles.
Overall, Freeman’s stories offer a glimpse into the lives of women in a time when their opportunities were limited and their voices often silenced. Her works are a testament to the power of literature to illuminate the struggles of the human condition and inspire empathy and understanding across generations.