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    The Feminist Literary Works of Mary Wilkins Freeman

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    This paper examines the life and writings of acclaimed feminist and ghost story author Mary Wilkins Freeman. This five page paper has two sources listed in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: LM1_TLCWlkFr.rtf

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    with depression - brought on by harrowing Civil War episodes - only exacerbated his inability to sustain his familys needs. Ever resourceful, Mary did her best to alleviate the  pressure at home by painting and teaching, however, the "familys economic decline" (McFadden, 2000) was in such a fierce downward spiral that even her best attempts were far too inadequate.  Writing became her economic mainstay, and she began earning money for her literary efforts as early as 1881; still, this was not to be a help to her destitute  family, all of who died during the following two years. Mary, taking each new situation - good or bad - as a personal  challenge, turned her grief into "a new phase of her life" (McFadden, 2000), where her serious writing efforts developed into "staunchly realistic stories" (McFadden, 2000) published mostly in womens magazines  under such subject matter as womens inner world, turn-of-the-century society rebellion, poverty, morality, New England life and marriage. Not to be satisfied with such an already stellar literary inventory,  Mary also wrote several popular ghost stories by which she covertly addressed womens social and economic pressures. " More particularly, these stories are powerfully illustrative of the claim that  many female writers of the time used the ghost story as a means of examining, indirectly, many of the social, personal, and economic pressures which often silenced or devalued women  and their concerns" (Voller, 2003). A failed marriage left Mary addicted to drugs and alcohol. In all, Mary penned twenty-two short story volumes, fourteen novels, three plays, three poetry books  and eight childrens collections. The point at which her popularity began to wane was during a portion of the twentieth century when her stories took a decidedly regionalist turn, 

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