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ENGC36H3 (6)
Lecture 7

lecture 7

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Holly Luhning

Lecture 7 Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:42 AM - Mix of class in women's writing dealing with social class  Marriage and courtship at the time - Women were a commodity to transmit inheritance and property - Things were ridged - Divorce was only allowed if not consummated - Women had little say in who they married ○ Thought of as passive in entering courtship and marriage - Women were never allowed to solicit men explicitly - Books were published on how to conduct yourself in public - Modes of conduct were taken seriously and there were social consequences and sometimes greater consequences ○ Women being put in prisons or insane asylum, placed by their husbands - 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 - Writing was thought of not being very proper for a woman ○ Thought to be excluded from the craft ○ A lot of their works were circulated privately  A serious Proposal to the Ladies - Astell critiques how women are consumed with their vanity and external beauty, rather than their soul - She envisioned school that would be run by the church of England - (p422) "I therefore persuade myself… Body to an immortal Mind." ○ Mind/ Body are separate in her opinion and the Mind is the way to eternal beauty ○ Uses a lot of religious imagery - Suggests that women should stop worrying about what men think and look to themselves (p 424) ○ "we value them too much and ourselves too little" ○ Idea of nobility and noble hearts  You'll gain nobility by investing in your own education and your own heart ○ 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 - 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 ○ "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 ○ 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  Wit - intelligence and originality - Was thought of controversial ○ 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 - 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  The Emulation - She was very outspoken in her poetry - She didn't have a good experience in ma
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