Betty Friedan's The Importance Of Work

1268 Words 6 Pages
In her essay, “The Importance of Work,” from The Feminine Mystique published in 1963, Betty Friedan confronts American women’s search for identity. She explores the idea that work is closely related to individuality and, therefore, gives individuals a sense of accomplishment. Her book is incredibly famous for sparking a new kind of feminism and inspiring numerous other women across the country.
Friedan graduated from Smith College in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree and moved to New York to become a reporter. After getting married and having three children, she stayed home to care for the needs of her family. Spending each day at home as a housewife took a great toll on Friedan, because she felt as though her life had no purpose. Wondering if other wives and mothers felt the same way, she began reaching out to fellow graduates of Smith College. She discovered she was not alone and began writing a novel encouraging other women to
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By evoking feelings of anger or sadness, an author can influence his or her audience to agree with the argument he or she presents. For example, in her essay, Friedan uses several examples of pathos to create an emotional response in readers and strengthen her argument. She writes, “The identity crisis for women did not begin in America until the fire and strength and ability of the pioneer women were no longer needed, no longer used, in the middle-class homes of the Eastern and Midwestern cities…” (para. 7). By using the phrases “no longer needed” and “no longer used,” Friedan creates feelings of neglect and hurt. She wants her audience to empathize and understand the struggle women were facing by being left at home, feeling unimportant, while the man of the household went to work. Additionally, by using words such as “fire,” “strength,” and “ability” she creates the idea that women had a wonderful power that was being wasted by sitting at

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