A New Home Analysis

Improved Essays
The Roles of Women in "A New Home, Who 'll Follow?"
Caroline Stansbury Kirkland drafted “A New Home, Who’ll Follow?” under pseudonym Mary Clavers. The book describes the experience of a middle-class relatively educated white woman who moves to the American frontier because of her husband’s ambitions. Kirkland takes advantage of her presence in Michigan border to record the American social history expressing her commitment to realism (Kirkland 8). She managed to work as a magazine editor at a time when women were rarely involved in the publishing business. Kirkland devotes most of her text describing real and physical hardship in the wilderness recording the homelessness experienced by women in the frontier. The book shows that women play an
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The author notes that Mrs. Danford can boast about her not being afraid of the long walks in the woods even after killing two rattlesnakes. There are many situations in the book that portray the fearless adventures of the frontier’s women despite being presented as naïve ladies. For example, the courageous venture of the narrator. In the absence of her husband, she leaves scratchy Ketchum’s house and moves in the Clavers log house in the woods. She establishes her new home without her husband’s assistance facing unanticipated challenges. Misguided by the elegant, romantic life, she did not foresee the effort involved. Neither does she expect the small size of the new cabin, lack of chimney and inadequate furniture. The trials in setting up a cabin house do not overpower Mrs. Clavers; she manages to overcome …show more content…
Wives such as Mrs. Claver and Mr. River’s wife depend on their husband’s capability to succeed on the frontier. As their spouses are busy out of the home, both women confine themselves in their households due to the long distance apart covered in pain of loneliness (Kirkland 245). The isolation in the woods is enhanced by their awareness of social classes feeling superior to the peasant frontier. The knowledgeable frontier women disregard the norms connected to the code of dressing and table manners taking pride in their simple habits such as smoking which are seen as unfeminine. To this point, Kirkland also depicts the satirical gender role of women confined to staying home and depending on their husbands.
The frontier women have their own social class, as described by Mrs. Clavers. They appear to work hard, dress poorly, live in the most unpleasant style, growing poorer and denying themselves and their families even life necessities. Her judgment was perceived as degrading frontier customs even though she believed her silent example would bring about improvement in the border. She is powerless in the face ungoverned emigrants as portrayed in the story of the Newlands who could not respect her education or share the enthusiasm towards adopting refined manners (Kirkland

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