Women's Role In Good Wives

906 Words4 Pages

In colonial North America, the lives of women were distinct and described in the roles exhibited in their inscriptions. In this book, Good Wives the roles of woman were neither simple nor insignificant. Ulrich proves in her writing that these women did it all. They were considered housewives, deputy husbands, mistresses, consorts, mothers, friendly neighbors, and last but not least, heroines. These characteristics played an important role in defining what the reality of women’s lives consisted of. Early American women were considered housewives. A few of their daily chores consisted of churning butter and spinning wool, as so the legend claims. But they did much more than that. Even from the earliest of the years, housekeeping involved a variety of household tasks, even including trade. Moreover, housekeeping was not only an economic role, but a social role as well. Among the upper class, the traditional importance of housekeeping increased. There was a possibility that it increased due to the fact that the roles of friendly neighbor and deputy husband had begun to decline. As early American women kept up with the daily housekeeping, …show more content…

For example, during wartime deputy husbands could turn into a termagant and women who were Christians could potentially become saints. This form of heroism contrasted female violence with female goodness. Women who were heroines were often praised. Compared to the captive heroines in the Good Wives, Little compares her definition of heroines in her article. The difference is not whether or not who killed more people or who did a better deed for the community, but what a woman defines as heroism in their culture or community. We can compare the women by what they did to be considered heroines: Hanna Duston, who slayed her captors, and Wheelwright, who, “converted to Catholicism, entered the Ursuline convent, and rose to become their first and last English-born Mother

Show More
Open Document