Women In To My Dear And Loving Husband

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Bradstreet’s view of men and women was somewhat shaped by Puritan society. Men were the social authority and women were essentially invisible in Puritan Society. She wrote in the Prologue, “Cause nature made it so irreparable”, a reference to the handicap she faced as a female poet (Bradstreet A: 208). In “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, she stated, “then while we live, in love let’s so persevere” and continued “That when we live no more, we may live ever” (Bradstreet A: 226). This was her way of glorifying her husband’s love and illustrated how important marriage was to the Puritans.
Her portraits of Elizabeth were an attempt to show confidence in the abilities of women. In her writings, she noted that men “have precenency and still excel”,
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She assumed the typical responsibilities of the household after her father died and her husband was out to sea. She taught school, ran a boarding house and played an important role in her family (Gura A: 379). Additionally, she traveled from New York to Boston, a trip that was unprecedented for a woman (Gura A: 379). She traveled alone but did use a guide for most of the trip.
Knight portrays herself as a strong woman or a type of feminist as shed detailed her travels. Another aspect of Knight’s writing was her racial bias. She believed that the Connecticut farmers were “too indulgent to their slaves” and the Native Americans to be “the most savage of all savages” (Knight A: 385). It seemed that Knight wanted to impose different rules on the Native Americans and slaves she encountered (Brunjes).
Another writer in the group, Benjamin Franklin, wrote “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker”, to satirize the attitudes of society regarding women. The woman in the story was persecuted for having children outside of marriage while the men have no such punishment for fathering these children. Gender inequality was certainly the issue in Franklin’s selection as he attacked the hypocrisy of those in power. Although women’s rights were not discussed during this era, Franklins’ Miss Polly Baker satire questioned whether women should have been given more

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