Women In Early American Literature

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Transcript of Women in Early American Literature The continuing shift on the representation of women embodies the changes that occur in American literature. Each period in the American history seemed parallel to showcase the degree of which acknowledgement and acceptance were given to portray the roles of women. Dating back in the16th century, Svoboda (2013) argues that writings in American literature contained little reference to women at all thus illustrates the harsh reality of society's treatment of women. Women in American literature before the 18th century were inexplicit and almost non-existent. The chief literary work that portrayed woman character was Cabeza de Vaca’s The Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition that was written during…show more content…
The story reveals the changing status of women of the time and shows how women were continually not equal to men. Coquette deals with several common ideologies about women of the time. For example, 18th century society ought women to continue being domestic and to never say a word of the man’s public affair and political domain. Thus what exactly the main character in Foster’s Coquette, Eliza, is encouraged to do by her friend Lucy while trying to decided what to do with her love life. Lucy exclaims "But I am persuaded, if you wish to lead down the dance of life with regularity, you will not find a more excellent partner than Mr. Boyer. Whatever you can reasonably expect in a lover, husband, or friend, you may perceive it to be united in this worthy man" (Foster 27). This shows how Eliza is expected to be contented and settle down with a decent man and in return be a good wife just like women of the 18th century were indeed likely to do. However, Eliza breaks the widely accepted expectations for women in this time period, which leads to her downfall. The novel presented how women who break out from the norms and push themselves in the boundary of what is only acceptable will meet their…show more content…
The portrayal and role depicted in the literature helped women in the long run to gain acceptance and equality in society. The literary contributions made and for women continue to be a springboard for women to gain equality to men. Finally, the accomplishment of these women writers who struggled to publish their fragile poems and stories could spread a template for other women around the word on how they can actually voice out their thoughts and help improve their own rights. Thus, women will continue to gain equality and recognition, and this success will also continuously impact the
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