preview

Lewes And Lecide's Letter To Melusina Fay Peirce

Good Essays
The nature of womanhood, or what we perceive as the inherent proclivities that govern only those born as a woman, is often the base argument for the unequal treatment of the female sex. Women are weak, natural-born mothers, unfit to do much else beyond simple household chores and rearing children. This portrait of women seems almost comical in its antiquity; however, we cannot disregard the past, as it shapes the present. The question of the nature of womanhood is rarely allowed nuance, which is a shame, because womanhood can be many, often contradictory things. Instead, the traits we often associate with womanhood stem from society’s projection of what women should be, not necessarily what they are. English novelist Marian Evans Lewes exists counter to 1800’s European beliefs of womanhood. Instead of adhering to society’s standards, she adopts the pen name of a man and becomes a successful author, avoiding judgement for her work based solely on her gender. In her letter to Melusina Fay Peirce, however,…show more content…
This letter was likely intended to be private, highlighted by Lewes openness about her personal struggles. She laments her societal standing as a woman in 1800’s Europe, struggling against the restrictions of “domestic duties” and “womanly necessities”. Despite this, Lewes finds comfort in her womanhood, comparing the process of writing to “...offspring, developing and growing by some force of which one’s own life has only served as a vehicle…” By writing this letter, Lewes acts on her impulse to “...feel the want of others as my own…” Though she rejects society’s traditional view of women, in the careful, consultative nature of her response, she takes on the role of a mother. This impulse to nurture, though unwanted by Lewes, reveals that a caring nature is not necessarily a weak one. By simply existing, Lewes proves society’s view of women
Get Access