“What tho' we read in days of yore the woman's occupation, Was to direct the wheel and loom not to direct the Nation; This narrow-minded policy by us both met detection; While woman's bound, men can't be free nor have a fair Election.” This was in a New Jersey newspaper in 1796 and titled “A Woman.” (Berg 11)
American literature, as does all literature, continues to reflect the conflicts that universally impact humankind - political, social, economic, racial, sexual, and moral. More than any other type of literature, American literature has brought to the world the ideals on which the country was founded: freedom, equality, individual rights vs. the rights of the state, and the right to self-determination. Certainly other authors, from many nations, have promoted these ideals in the hopes of making lives better, initiating social change, or seeking justice. However, the difference seen in early American literature is that these revolutionary ways of thinking and being were being created and lived by real people, and were not just dreams in the minds of a few. As the country expanded traditional mores and expectations changed as people struggled to survive in a harsh and often hostile environment. Women authors began to appear, calling for reform of the injustices they experienced and observed. Through their writing they brought to light new perspectives and embraced the idea of an age of enlightenment as a means of promoting change.
The verse above clearly shows that women were unhappy with the restrictions placed on them and through the use of writing, sought to change society's inequities. Never content with being second-class citizens, women postulated the idea that they were capable beings, with an intelligence equal to ...
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... of Women in America. New York: Bantam, 1978
Maurice, Arthur B. The Play That Goes On Forever: The Story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu:1852/utc/media/onstage-notices/@Generic_BookTex... Railton, Stephen, and the University of Virginia. Uncle Tom's Cabin: Electronic Edition. Charlottesville: Stephen Railton; Institute for Advancerd Technology in the Humanities; Electronic Text Center, 1999 [This article originally appeared in the Lincoln Democrat. Boston: W. Garrison and I. Knapp, 1852-09-03]
http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu:1852/utc/responses/notices/@Generic_ BookTextVie... Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin or, Life among the Lowly. Edited with an Introduction by Ann Douglas. New York: Penguin Books, 1986
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin or, Life Among The Lowly. New York: Random House, Inc., 2001