Essay on Women During The Nineteenth Century

988 Words Feb 1st, 2016 4 Pages
In the beginning of the nineteenth century, both men and women had certain “roles” to play in society. A woman was meant to be a dainty, fragile woman who depended on her husband. She was to follow the “cult of domesticity”. Her job was to raise the children, keep her husband happy, and make sure the house was clean at all times. A woman during this time should be pure and devote herself to one man, her husband. The ideal husband had a job, provided for the family, took charge of the household and owned all of his property. He always made sure his wife and children were taken care of. All of this began to change in the late nineteenth century. The late nineteenth century marked the beginning of the first wave of feminism. During the first wave of feminism, women all over America fought for gender equality. They fought against things like the “cult of domesticity”, the oppressive patriarchy, gender roles and traditional marriage. As the women fought for their rights, their place in society began to change. They were no longer the quiet, “ladylike” wives their husbands grew to love. They were far more independent and questioned their husbands a lot more. They also began to put their needs in front of their children’s more often. It is no surprise that Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, which is set in the late nineteenth century, is a feminist novel. The protagonist, Edna Pontellier is a woman ahead of her time. She is the ideal nineteenth century feminist. Throughout the novel,…

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