Child Vs. Cooper : The Womanly Stance Essay

820 Words Oct 19th, 2015 4 Pages
Child vs. Cooper: The Womanly Stance

In Lydia Maria Child’s Letters from New York, some of her critiques of other writings are focused on the insult she feels as a woman reading books like James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers. Both of these authors seem to agree with the fact there has been a general cultural assumption surrounding the idea that women are to primarily remain as stay-at-home moms. However, Child does not seem to agree that society should judge women in such a way that Cooper appears to display in his paragraph, which focuses on the outer aspects of females. Despite the flattering descriptions, Child seems to take offense to this idea, because it is solely focused on the physical aspects of the young woman instead of her actual character. The tone of her paragraph seems to disagree with the assumption that women are only good for certain duties within the house. She does not appreciate the generalization of women being mere “gilded toys” or “household conveniences” (Child par. 1). With this perception, women can only use their feminine features as a way to get ahead of each other, as well as to ensure they raise well-behaved children in the home. However, the female portion of humanity exists for more than simply remaining as housewives or child bearers. According to Child, “women [are] urged to simplicity and truthfulness, that they might become more pleasing” (par. 3). She believes women should choose to live in ways that would make them more attractive…

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