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Lecture 7

lecture 7


Department
English
Course Code
ENGC36H3
Professor
Holly Luhning
Lecture
7

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Mix of class in women's writing dealing with social class
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Marriage and courtship at the time
Women were a commodity to transmit inheritance and property
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Things were ridged
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Divorce was only allowed if not consummated
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Thought of as passive in entering courtship and marriage
Women had little say in who they married
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Women were never allowed to solicit men explicitly
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Books were published on how to conduct yourself in public
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Women being put in prisons or insane asylum, placed by their husbands
Modes of conduct were taken seriously and there were social consequences and sometimes greater
consequences
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If you were a woman you could go into prostitution or work as a servant in order to make money while
single, otherwise trapped in the domestic sphere
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Thought to be excluded from the craft
A lot of their works were circulated privately
Writing was thought of not being very proper for a woman
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A serious Proposal to the Ladies
Astell critiques how women are consumed with their vanity and external beauty, rather than their soul
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She envisioned school that would be run by the church of England
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Mind/ Body are separate in her opinion and the Mind is the way to eternal beauty
Uses a lot of religious imagery
(p422) "I therefore persuade myself… Body to an immortal Mind."
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"we value them too much and ourselves too little"
You'll gain nobility by investing in your own education and your own heart
Idea of nobility and noble hearts
Casts light on men and brings out how insignificant they are and highlights the fact that women
are much stronger than they believe themselves to be
Men are unworthy of our attention
Suggests that women should stop worrying about what men think and look to themselves (p 424)
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"Ladies, as to do nothing… in studying to deserve it." (p424)
Make sure you deserve that respect - putting the responsibility on women for their own agency
Wit - intelligence and originality
Don't just pay attention to how you are treated, but how you deserve to be treated, which comes
down to how one conducts themselves
She suggest that the solution is that women should invest more time in themselves and less on their
external beauty and charms, allowing for better communication
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Questioned women's rolls in the home
Valuing agency and being able to choose and cultivate oneself was a way to improve the
relationship between genders and issues that women found themselves in during that time
Was thought of controversial
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There wasn't a wide range of literacy in the lower classes, but those who were well read could look at
this and place their influence over society at the time in order to implement it
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The Emulation
She was very outspoken in her poetry
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She didn't have a good experience in marriage
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Lecture 7
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
10:42 AM
C. de Souza ENGC36H3 Page 1
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