Harriet Beecher Stowe 's First Challenge Essay

1273 Words Jun 17th, 2015 null Page
Harriet Beecher Stowe stepped out of the traditional role of women and ignited a national debate on the injustice of slavery. She grew up hearing sermons convincing the congregation to help the misfortunate and knew that slavery was wrong. But as a woman in the 1800’s voicing an opinion and changing the law was not supported. Her aptitude with a pen, determination, and a deep sense of right over wrong lead her to write about the mistreatment of slaves. Although Harriet Beecher Stowe faced gender inequality and social stratification, she knew the fight for the abolishment of slavery would improve the quality of life for blacks. The role of women was Harriet’s first challenge. As a young woman, Harriet was expected to attend to household chores, help with siblings, and understand that men had leadership roles. Although she conformed to society’s ideas, she felt resistance in her heart. Realizing Harriet’s intelligence, her father agreed to send her to a school that her older sister had opened. The Western Female Institute, a school for women, educated Harriet and eventually she became one of the teachers. Her writing talents continued to improve when she joined the “Semi-Colon Club”. Her interest in civil rights increased as she read, The Philanthropist, a newspaper developed by James Gillespie Birney. (Scott, 1978, p. 65) Birney’s paper focused on antislavery. His willing to die in order to voice his opinion sparked Harriet’s desire to defend freedom of speech. Once married,…

Related Documents