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Louisa Ellis 'A New England Nun'

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“A New England Nun” by Mary Wilkins Freeman addresses that women aren’t regarded as fully individuals within the community and how the main character, Louisa Ellis makes a journey to finding her own individuality through notions of feminism throughout the text. There are a few key points that I will address in this essay, the first being how Louisa is first presented with all of the stereotypes of what being a woman is. Then with how Louisa waits fourteen years to mary Joe Dagget, with the story continuing to Louisa finding out later that he is having an affair with his mother’s helper. Ultimately leading to Louisa’s choice of herself at the end of the story. All of these points tie together to show how Louisa is able to find herself with the…show more content…
Freeman starts out with describing Louisa as a quiet, graceful woman, with relation to the individual and the community this is able to show that a woman isn’t fully an individual because she cannot exercise her rights, she must not call attention to herself, she must be quiet. Then, the story progresses to show how Louisa waits fourteen years to marry Joe, while he goes off to pursue his dream while she waits faithfully at home, showing that a man’s needs are more important than a woman’s and that it really is a “man’s world”. Joe has an affair with Lily, and Lily offers to leave town, and rather than stopping her and telling Louisa the truth, he does nothing and the other two women will suffer while he gets the best of both worlds. This again echoes the previous ideas that women are less important than men. Lastly, Louisa breaks free of all the expectations and societal views and chooses to end the marriage with Joe because she wanted to find her own happiness. Stereotypes and expectations would’ve guessed that she stays with Joe, being unhappy because it is easier. One key thing to note is that she never tells Joe that she knows of the affair, and that itself could take away from her being happy. However, in the end she finds her own individuality and goes from not being fully regarded as an individual in her community to a full and happy
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