Laurel Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale Essay

Laurel Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale Essay

Length: 1284 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Laurel Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale

     Before I watched 'A Midwife's Tale', a movie created from the diary found by Laurel Ulrich chronicling the life of a woman named Martha Ballard, I thought the women in these times were just housewives and nothing else. I pictured them doing the cleaning and the cooking for their husbands and not being very smart because of the lack of education or them being unable to work. My view on the subject changed however when I watched this specific woman's life and her work.

     To know that there was a woman such as Martha back in those days is very interesting to me because I especially did not think there were women who were as brave and independent as she was. The lives of women in general, not just in Martha?s case, were busy and at sometimes hard during these times. They had to do an array of things from keeping the house under control and raising sometimes several children to working on a farm and spinning. Sometimes, some women would even work to make a second living for the family, as in Martha?s case. And even though the women were able to work, they still did not hold as much power as men did, which is still evident today. And if the women were recognized as much as they should be I?m sure we wouldn?t need a completely different subject for Women?s History because they would cover it in the regular history classes, instead of the subject consisting of 99.9% males.

     Martha?s day was a pretty long one and consisted of many jobs to do, anything from cleaning the house to delivering a baby. The fact that she never lost a mother during any of the childbirths is astonishing in itself since it was the number one cause of death in women. Among those jobs she also spun, raised her children, worked on her farm, and treated illnesses, coming up with her own remedies. For example when Parthenia was sick and she had her drink the last milk from the cow in hopes of her getting better which unfortunately she wasn?t able to make her get better and Parthenia died. Martha?s own children however all lived into their adulthood which was also a very rare thing to add to her list of unique facts.

     Although Martha did have different jobs to do, her real job was being a midwife. She got paid high for a woman at this time and she was a well respected person in the town. This job was the most demanding and it?s not like...

... middle of paper ...

...because I probably would have if my kid took over my house and I missed my husband.

     When Martha Ballard died, she was definitely missed and even though her diary sat in the back stacks of a library for a very long time because authors thought it was useless, her story was told and it was a good one at that. It wouldn?t be a surprise to me if her story has inspired women and I know it has definitely educated people about women?s lives at this time. It?s just a shame that more women?s stories from this time will never be told. I?ve learned from Martha Ballard?s story that she must have been a very good, decent, and smart woman and I would have loved to have met her. She is a good example of what some women were like back then and it?s good to see that not all of them were powerless housewives as some people think and how I, myself, thought before I saw this movie. I saw her struggle and her get through the hard times. The things she had to live through throughout her life were astonishing and I?m really glad I got to see this woman?s work. I realized how easy we have it now and how women like Martha paved the way for us and we have to appreciate them for what they?ve done.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Martha Ballard 's The Diary That Inspired A Midwife 's Tale By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

- Martha Ballard was a midwife in Hallowell, Maine in the early eighteenth century. She is the author of the diary that inspired A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Martha Ballard was an extremely busy woman with her medical duties and was very serious about being a midwife. Nothing was trivial to Martha she was serious about her work and community. She was an independent woman of her time and valued her autonomy. Her job highlighted how compassionate and caring she was towards her community....   [tags: Sociology, Medicine, Obstetrics, Marriage]

Strong Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Finding the Truth in Gretchen Moran Laskas’s The Midwife’s Tale Essay

- Finding the Truth in Gretchen Moran Laskas’s The Midwife’s Tale The prologue to Gretchen Moran Laskas’s novel, The Midwife’s Tale, begins with her narrator protagonist, Elizabeth, telling readers, “Mama always said that most of being a good midwife was in knowing the family history. Not just the birthing story of any given woman--although that was a good thing to keep in mind--but the whole history.” Assuming the “whole history” is a thing possible to know in the first place, a dubious aim in itself, Moran Laskas’s novel ends up reading as a sort of family history: at times exultant, heartbreaking, occasionally comic, and more than once bone-chillingly grim....   [tags: Midwifes Tale]

Strong Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

A Midwife’s Tale by Martha Ballard Essay

- When Thomas Jefferson wrote the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, it became one of his greatest legacies. In the first line he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" (U.S. Constitution, paragraph 2). Jefferson wrote these words to give inspiration to future generations in the hopes that they would be able to change what he either would or could not. The word “men” in the Declaration in the early 1700 and 1800’s meant exactly that, but even then it only was true for some men, not all....   [tags: thomas jefferson, equality]

Strong Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Women's Battles in "The Midwife Addresses the Newly Delivered Woman"

- In the poem titled "The Midwife Addresses the Newly Delivered Woman" the author portrays the strengths and fortune of an Aztec woman she must have while giving birth to a child. The author mentions how the courageous and brave woman went through hard exhausting physical labor. The poem informs the mother that possible unpleasant situations may still occur. The new mother is aware and understanding that she has successfully won mastery. Also it is pointed out when women were giving birth it was like a battle, just as painful as the ones men fought in wars....   [tags: Midwife Addresses the Newly Delivered Woman, femin]

Strong Essays
824 words (2.4 pages)

The Midwife Essay

- The Midwife’s Apprentice is written by Karen Cushman. The setting takes place in the past nearly five hundred years ago from now. It is also a fiction book Alyce formerly known as Beetle or Dung Beetle has found a home in a village with a Midwife who feeds her only morsels of what hard work she does. But before that the tale of how she was found must be told. Beetle found herself snug as a bug in a dung heap. She slept for warmth, completely dismissing the horrid smell of it. Then a sharp question asked “You girl....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
366 words (1 pages)

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle: How I Decided to Become a Student Midwife Essay

- In this reflective account I will reflective upon an incident that occurred while on practice placement. I will identify how I recognised the limitations of my knowledge and skill as a student midwife and made the transition from a registered nurse to that of a student midwife. I will employ Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle, as it comprises six stages that will enable me to holistically reflect upon the incident. The name of the woman has been changed to Jane; with my mentor’s name has been changed to Lucy due to the Nursing and midwifery council (2008) code of professional conduct clause 5.1 which maintains treat patient’s information as confidential and use it only for the purpose for which i...   [tags: Gibbs' Reflective Cycle, Student Midwife, nursing,]

Strong Essays
2139 words (6.1 pages)

Theme Of Oppression In The Handmaids Tale Essay

- Amber Illana ENG 308W Professor Pummill 21 November 2017 A Society of Oppression In Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood creates a society of oppression in which she redefines oppression in common culture. Gilead is a society characterized by highly regulated systems of social control and extreme regulation of the female body. The instinctive need to “protect and preserve” the female body is driven by the innate biological desires of the men. The manipulation of language, commodification, and attire, enhances the theme of oppression and highlights the imbalance of power in the Gilead society....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Strong Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

The Birth Of A Midwife Essay

- When living in rural New Brunswick during 1950, there are two options when you are pregnant. You can either go to the hospital, which is quite a distance away but still possible to get to, or you can hire a midwife to take care of you before and during your delivery. I would choose having a midwife in the 1950s to help me with my delivery over going to the hospital and having a doctor take care of me. This paper will go through why having a midwife in 1950 would be a better form of delivery instead of taking the long road to the hospital and having a doctor deliver your baby....   [tags: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Midwifery, Mortality rate]

Strong Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Essay on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

- I Tell, Therefore I Am In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, women are subjected to unthinkable oppression. Practically every aspect of their life is controlled, and they are taught to believe that their only purpose is to bear children for their commander. These “handmaids” are not allowed to read, write or speak freely. Any type of expression would be dangerous to the order of the Gilead’s strict society. They are conditioned to believe that they are safer in this new society. Women are supposedly no longer exploited or disrespected (pornography, rape, etc.) as they once were....   [tags: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale]

Free Essays
878 words (2.5 pages)

Midwife Essay

- Hearing the word midwife leaves many people thinking of unprofessional, inexperienced women who help deliver babies naturally, without the help of medication. In truth, nurse-midwives are registered nurses who have attended additional schooling for women’s health and are taught to make women feel as comfortable as possible. In the beginning, remedies were the females’ legacies, their “birthright”; these females were known as “wise-women by the people, witches of charlatans by authorities”. (Ehrenreich, 1973)....   [tags: Health Care, Nurse-Midwives]

Strong Essays
1889 words (5.4 pages)