Women In American Literature Essay

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The Role of Women in American Literature: A Loud call to Action During the mid 1800s, America was a nation struggling to find a definitive cultural identity. Slavery was the dominant economic engine of the Southern States, and the North was beginning to move closer towards industrialization. Native Americans were displaced due to westward expansion, and there was seemingly a cultural battle between religion and critical thought. Those that thrived during this time period were individuals who enjoyed the full protections of the law and privilege’s in society, that is: the right to own property, vote, and acquire an education beyond study of the bible. Along with slaves being striped of such fundamental rights, women faced their own form of…show more content…
She opens her book by stating: “Slavery is contrary to the declaration of our independence. Second, that it is contrary to the first character of human rights given to Adam, and Noah,” (783-784). In these opening lines, Grimké is acknowledging a dangerous viewpoint for the time that women and African Americans should not blindly follow a system that subjects them to oppression by its very design. She is employing the rational established in the Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal,” and pointing out how that ideology conflicts with slavery and oppression of women. Women and African Americans are indeed part of the human race, regardless of how white men attempted to reason they were not, and Grimké pointed out this irrefutable fact. It is no surprise that women and African Americans came together as a cultural ally, given that both groups were denied equal protection under the law, among other forms of disenfranchisement. Up until this point in time, Women and other minority groups spoke on these issues in more of a cryptic manor through literature, perhaps due to a fear of punishment from their husbands and slavers, but Grimké was unafraid of such punishment, and her boldness was absolutely essential for
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