The Women’s Movement and Female Writers

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The role of women writers and women in society has changed drastically over the last two centuries. The women’s movement and female writers have worked hand in hand to pursue equality for women and to move their issues to the forefront of the nation. Writers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sarah Moore Grimké, Angelina Grimké Weld, Harriet Jacobs, and Sojourner Truth help bring to light the sensitive problems that need to be addressed in the women’s rights movement. Angelina Grimké Weld, in her Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, says, "It is through the tongue, the pen, and the press, that truth is principally propogated" (1948). Weld is well aware of the power and influence that the writer has over her audience. The female writers certainly had a substantial influence because they encouraged a movement that is still being fought for today. The typical 19th century woman served many roles, but her roles were limited to domestic ones. The majority were wives, mothers, caregivers, and housekeepers. Women were considered to be property and were limited in their rights as individuals. As a result of their limited roles, many women began to feel cheated, thus a voice began to emerge among women writers bringing to the attention of the public the discontent that women felt. At the forefront of the women’s movement was Elizabeth Cady Stanton who voices her feelings well in Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences: The general discontent I felt with woman’s portion as wife, mother, housekeeper, physician, and spiritual guide, the chaotic conditions into which everything fell without her constant supervision, and the wearied, anxious look of the majority of women impressed me with a strong feeling that some active measures ... ... middle of paper ... .... Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. 1839-1863. Lauter, Paul, et al., eds. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. "Declaration of Sentiments." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. 2035-37. --- Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. 2033-35. Weld, Angelina Grimké. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.1946-1953. --- "Letters to Catherine Beecher." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. 1954.
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