Woman Authors Working for Social Change

analytical Essay
3155 words
3155 words

“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." 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] 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

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how hannah foster, in her novel, the coquette, depicts the destruction of a woman who longed to break away from the restrictions that bound her every action.
  • Analyzes how foster eloquently portrays the quandary eliza faces. she is torn between a steady, stable man and an exciting, upper class playboy who introduces her to new and here-to-fore unexperienced activities.
  • Analyzes how fanny fern's novel, ruth hall, does not follow the accepted formula for nineteenth-century romantic novels.
  • Analyzes how fanny fern defended stowe's abolitionist novel, which is based on the fugitive slave act.
  • Analyzes how st. clare disrespects his mother's memory by not taking action against slavery. the revelation brings him comfort on what turns out to be his last night alive.
  • Argues that american literature has brought to the world the ideals of freedom, equality, individual rights vs. the rights of the state, and the right to self-determination.
  • Analyzes how the character of ruth hall was a step towards ending the oppression of women in antebellum america.
  • Analyzes how stowe patronizes the societal ideals of womanhood and compliments her audience to gain their ear and consideration.
  • Analyzes stowe's portrayal of the quakers as moral white characters who act to stop what they see as anathema to christian morality.
  • Explains berg, barbara j, davis, rebecca harding, and tillie olsen's the remembered gate: origin of american feminism.
  • Explains that maurice, arthur b., railton, stephen, and the university of virginia. uncle tom's cabin: electronic edition.
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