Essay about 17th century women experiences

Essay about 17th century women experiences

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Though women were subordinates by both the eye of the church and the government, women found ways to express authority both intentionally and unintentionally. Women began to act independently in patriarchal society. In 17th century Euro-America Puritan society believed that men played a patriarchal role upon women, and that this role was instituted by God and nature. The seniority of men over women lay within both the household and the public sphere. The household, immediate family living in the same dwelling was subject to the male as head figure of the house. The public sphere also known as the social life within the Puritan community consisted of two echelons. These echelons consisted of formal and informal public. The formal public consisted of woman and indentured servants. Women were to stay within the informal public and stay in the shadows of the men.
Among these women are Anne Hutchinson, and Mary Rowlandson. Both women were similar in social status, both high statuses, well-educated women. Social and religious patterns were two of the determining factors for women’s roles in the New England colonies. Anne Hutchinson’s independence led to her banishment where Mary Rowlandson’s independence led to the publication of her spiritual experience.
Anne Hutchinson, of Massachusetts Bay, was a woman of Euro-American society in the early 17th century. Born in the late 16th century, Hutchinson was baptized into the Puritan church. She was self taught and learned also by reading the books within her father’s library. Her family was middle class and members of the church. Her father was a reverend. She married William Hutchinson a magistrate in the colony. Hutchinson like many other women played a role in child beari...


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... her personal relationship with God, where Mary Rowlandson went through scripture to seek spiritual interpretation. The men were opposed to Anne Hutchinson’s action where they were not to Mary Rowlandson’s. The reason lies within the patriarchal society. Men were able to have some control over Rowlandson and not Hutchinson. Rowlandson was the perfect example of Puritan piety, and Hutchinson was not. Hutchinson was a threat to them as well because she showed her power within the court room when they had such a hard time finding her guilty. Did Rowlandson learn from Hutchinson’s mistakes of taking it to far, or did the Puritan government learn through the course of the 17th century that by empowering women, as they did Rowlandson they could keep women within their gender roles. Regardless both women had a voice, and regardless of the outcomes both voices were heard.

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