Full Texts of Classic Works

Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott (1973) – full text

Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott is a satire, somewhere in length between a short story and novella, about her family’s misadventures as part of the Fruitlands community in the 1840s. It was first published in a New York newspaper in 1873.

Alcott thinly disguised the members of the Transcendentalist community. Her father, Amos Bronson Alcott was a co-founder of the community. In the fictional version he became “Abel Lamb.” Her mother, Abigail May Alcott, is presented as “Sister Hope.” Louis makes no attempt to soften the truth in her satire, portraying Abel Lamb is an impractical dreamer; Sister Hope actually feels hopeless —overworked and frustrated by the hapless men. Read More→

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“Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament” by Willa Cather – full text

“Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament” is a short story by Willa Cather first published in McClure’s Magazine in 1905. Shortly after it became part of Cather’s first published collection of stories, The Troll Garden, also 1905, in which it was one of seven stories. Like the other stories in that collection,”Paul’s Case” is in the public domain,  so we present it here for your reading pleasure. You can also link though to an analysis of “Paul’s Case” on this site. Read More→

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Women and Economics by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1898)

Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was published in 1898. Far ahead of its time, in this book she pointed out that humans are the only species in which the female depends on the male for her survival.  It is considered Gilman’s finest work, though it hasn’t retained the renown of her long-form semi-autobiographical short story, The Yellow Wallpaper.

Gilman argues for the evolution of marriage, family, and home life. She begins with her thesis that the economic independence and specialization of women are essential to the improvement of marriage, motherhood, domestic industry, and racial improvement.” Read More→

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The Giant Wistaria by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Full Text

Charlotte Perkins Gilman‘s short story The Giant Wistaria (1891) is less known than her story The Yellow Wallpaper,  a feminist classic. “Wistaria” has in common with “Wallpaper” the underlying themes of patriarchal repression of women’s sexuality and control of the realm of motherhood. Here is the full text of The Giant Wistaria, written in 1891 under the name she was going by, Charlotte P. Stetson, just a year prior to the publication of The Yellow Wallpaper.  See also The Giant Wisteria by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – an Analysis. Read More→

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The Awakening (1899) by Kate Chopin – full text

The Awakening is a short novel by Kate Chopin, published in 1899. It’s the story of Edna Pontellier, who struggles with her role as wife and mother in the stratified social milieu of New Orleans in the late 1800s.

In her analysis of this novella on this site, Sarah Wyman writes that it “came under immediate attack when published and was banned from bookstores and libraries. The author died virtually forgotten, yet The Awakening has been rediscovered and holds a secure and prominent position as a watershed text in U.S. literature and feminist studies. Here is the text in its entirety. Read More→

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