The Cottagette by Charloette Perkins Gilman

In “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I believe the story offers a truly happy ending. Malda had talent but she thought she needed to please the guy she loves. She was told from Lois, that men love to marry a homemaker. Lois got her happy ending. She was miserable in her marriage. She didn’t regret the pain and once she changed back to her maiden name she felt free and truly happy. Malda was going to give up her needlework to be a housewife. Her soon to be fiance has noticed that she has been cooking recently. When he asked Malda to marry her, she said yes and he told her that there’s one condition and it’s that she shouldn’t cook. He told her that he doesn’t want her to give up what she truly loves and has talent for instead of cooking for him.  When Ford says “Your work is quite too good to lose; it is a beautiful and distinctive art, and I don’t want you to let it go.” I believe it’s a happy ending for them because he truly loves her for who she is and he doesn’t want her to force herself to cook just because it’s a gender role. Being in love with someone means you support them and motivate them to follow their passion. He can cook and he is willing to cook for them so she can do what she loves and I believe that’s true love. You being able to support your partner in any way is true love. Ford is okay with him cooking for the both of them and making that sacrifice for the girl he loves and I believe that’s a true happy ending.

4 thoughts on “The Cottagette by Charloette Perkins Gilman

  1. Rukhshona Rasulova

    I also agree that this story is a true happy ending. As you said Malda really loves and enjoys what she’s doing instead of cooking and being housegirl/wife. Malda and Ford, they’re both lucky to have each other because, for Malda she needed somebody who can comfort her despite her not willing to cook yet she tries to please him in other ways. And for Ford, his fiancee is very beautiful and talented women so he didn’t mind that she doesn’t want to cook. Instead, he comforts her and encourges to do what she wants. At the end of the day they both appreciate each other and love each other. It is indeed truly a happy ending.

  2. Justin Liang

    I also agree with your comment about this story have a happy ending. Malda was listening to her friend who was giving her advice about her past marriage. This was leading Malda to change what she did to impress Ford when she didn’t have too. Ford accepts her for who she is and was fine with how she was before.

  3. Yasmin

    The first time reading the story I misinterpreted Lois’ intention with Malda’s relationship. I figured with all the time she spent with Ford, that she’d know Malda didn’t have to be a housewife to please him. Anyhow, I realized she was too busy going off on her personal personal experience and projecting it onto Malda.

    I found their relationship a bit comical, the fact that they both had changed to please the other. He who cooked all his life allowed her to because its what he thought she wanted, and she who dedicated her life to cooking and becoming a housewife because she thought it would be who he wanted her to be. The story comes to show really how although love conquers all, communication is always key. In addition, having to completely change the person you are to please another isn’t love at all, so it was a good thing that they were their true versions of themselves at the end.

    1. Jody R. Rosen

      Ford doesn’t change who he is, except that in his desire that Malda give up cooking to preserve her art, he changes his demand so she can do whatever she wants, not what he wants for her. It’s very progressive. No one seems to be telling Ford that he needs to change–so it’s interesting that Malda is under that pressure.

      I like the idea that Giselle gives us, that Lois gets what she wants, too: she has regained her maiden name and is free of the marriage that stifled her. That’s already happened from the start of the story–so is it a happy ending, or a happy start for her? In what ways is Lois a model for Malda, and in what ways is she recreating the patriarchy she aims to escape herself?


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