The Widow’s Might


Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Widow’s Might Characters

Mrs. McPherson

Mrs. McPherson is the widow of the recently deceased Mr. McPherson and the mother of James, Ellen, and Adelaide. Mrs. McPherson spent most of her adult life—from her early 20s to her… read analysis of Mrs. McPherson


James is Mrs. and Mr. McPherson’s son and Adelaide and Ellen’s brother. He lives in New York with his wife, Maude, who everyone knows doesn’t like Mrs. McPherson. Like his sisters, James… read analysis of James


Ellen is Mrs. and Mr. McPherson’s daughter and James and Adelaide’s sister. Ellen lives in Cambridge with her husband, Mr. Jennings, and her sickly children who demand a lot of her… read analysis of Ellen


Adelaide is Mrs. and Mr. McPherson’s daughter and James and Ellen’s sister. Adelaide lives in Pittsburg with her husband, Mr. Oswald, who is well-off but unwilling to financially support Mrs. McPherson… read analysis of Adelaide

Mr. McPherson

Mr. McPherson is Mrs. McPherson’s late husband and James, Ellen, and Adelaide’s father. Before he passed, he signed his properties over to his wife for safekeeping. This means that his will—which… read analysis of Mr. McPherson
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Mr. Frankland

Mr. Frankland is the lawyer tasked with carrying out Mr. McPherson’s will. He finds himself caught between the McPherson siblings and their mother. On the one hand, he defends Mrs. McPherson and her desire… read analysis of Mr. Frankland
Minor Characters
Maud is James’s wife, who everyone knows doesn’t like his mother, Mrs. McPherson. She isn’t willing to leave their home in New York to accompany James to the funeral.
Mr. Jennings
Mr. Jennings is Ellen’s husband.
Mr. Oswald
Mr. Oswald is Adelaide’s husband.