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Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens a window of history through which we see a small part of the determined efforts made by women to elevate the circumstances of women in the early 20th century.Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also she desires a challenging career in new territory that raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even a scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women.Diantha’s business prospers as she shows her excellent gifts for administration, organization, and homemaking. She grows an empire and brings happiness and wholesomeness to every area of endeavor that she carefully attempts.The improvements in women’s opportunities have not been available very long, indeed. This is a good reminder.
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