Weeds By Edith Summerss Kelley Sparknotes

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In the summer of 2013, Texas senator Wendy Davis stood on her feet for thirteen hours (with no restroom breaks) to fight against a bill that would close numerous abortion clinics in Texas. During the filibuster, Davis presented an important question: “What purpose does this bill serve? And could it be, might it just be a desire to limit women's access to safe, healthy, legal, constitutionally-protected abortions in the state of Texas?” (Bassett, “Wendy Davis …”). For centuries women have struggled for adequate access to birth control and resorted to abhorrent means of abortion when they face unwanted pregnancies. In the 1923 naturalistic novel Weeds by Edith Summers Kelley, protagonist Judith Pippinger Blackford struggles against the fate of …show more content…

Such a life is referenced by Kelley in her depictions of the hardships pursuant to a destitute, rural lifestyle, especially during the winter seasons (207, 249, and 299). When Judith resigns herself to this way of life and her withdrawn behavior reveals as such, Jerry blames it on a poor diet and thinks that if he could provide for her properly, she would be happier in herself and their life together (Kelley 209). Judith indeed falls into the dullness of rural womanhood which includes "unceasing work, bad weather, failed crops, endless debts, and incessant childbearing" (Campbell 161). These substantial reasons solidify Judith's rationalization in her decision not to bring another child into her impoverished environment: “She wanted no more children that she could not clothe, that she could hardly feed, that were a long torture to bear and a daily fret and anxiety after they were born. Her flesh recoiled and her spirit rose in fiery protest against any further degradation and suffering” (Kelley 299). Such degradation unfolds when Judith finds she is pregnant again, this time with the preacher’s child, and she makes different attempts at aborting the fetus: “a wild horseback ride, a knitting needle, and ‘Pennyroyal and tansy and other noxious herbs’” (qtd. in Capo 34). When she senses that these folk remedies will not work, she attempts and fails at drowning herself in a frigid horsepond (Kelley 287). However, as a result of these efforts, she finally endures the agony of a miscarriage. Judith's act of defiance against nature at this point is commendable for her character because she has made a choice for her self, and it is a victory in her corner. Why would she

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