Woman Authors Working for Social Change Essay

3158 Words 13 Pages
“What tho' we read in days of yore the woman's occupation, Was to direct the wheel and loom not to direct the Nation; This narrow-minded policy by us both met detection; While woman's bound, men can't be free nor have a fair Election.” This was in a New Jersey newspaper in 1796 and titled “A Woman.” (Berg 11)
American literature, as does all literature, continues to reflect the conflicts that universally impact humankind - political, social, economic, racial, sexual, and moral. More than any other type of literature, American literature has brought to the world the ideals on which the country was founded: freedom, equality, individual rights vs. the rights of the state, and the right to self-determination. Certainly other authors, from
…show more content…
They used storytelling to generate discussion about, and prepare the way for, the changes occurring in American society. Instead of presenting dry, dull facts, these women used stories to engage their readers' attention and help people reflect on issues presented, as well as provide a point of view that may have been utterly foreign to the audience previously. Hannah Foster, Fanny Fern, and Harriet Beecher Stowe provide examples of woman who wrote to expose inequities in American society. While bound by the constraints of a society that devalued women and their work, each one developed a style that allowed her to be published, enabling each to spread her ideas throughout the restless nation.

Prior to and during the American Revolution women began to be taken more seriously. There were still very restrictive laws, and certainly they had no political power, but the daily struggle to stay alive made women's labor an important part of survival. They faced the same dangers as the men, suffered the same hardships and depravations, worked from dawn to dark, and still managed to produce and care for their children. It would have been very difficult to tell a pioneer woman that she was too delicate for fieldwork, or too dumb to learn about crop rotation. An excerpt from the diary of a colonial woman in 1775 clearly shows the incredible load the women faced: “Fixed gown for

Related Documents