I created this cover art for the novel, because it identifies the context. Our Nig is on slave narratives. I just the image because it captures peoples attention, it also has a symbolic meaning to what the novel is on. The little white girl is riding the little black girl like she’s an animal. Many would depict it as “just playing child games”, but exposure of the photo dates during a time that segregation and slavery was a lifestyle of that time. In the photo you can see the pain in the young black girls eyes, it’s alarming. The photo itself represents the control, the pain, how children were raised at a young age. They’re just children in this picture, but it represents the segregation and the control. The pain is unspoken, but cries out through the image. I felt like it’d catch readers attention, because people do judge a book by its cover.
To Ruth Hall, though writing is apart of her, it appears in the novel that her hidden identity was to hide herself. She viewed her role as a writer as providing for her children. Her success is created on proving others wrong, through her work, her actions in which we see throughout the novel. As a writer, she hides her identity behind the name ‘Floy’ and I believe she did so partially to protect her daughters.
However, her actions to hide behind a name and not coming out as “Ruth Hall the woman behind Floy”, I believe she did that in caution for the time period they were in. She knowingly acted behind a name. Writing was a form of work for her to provide for her children. We see that in the novel when her daughter asks if she’ll be a writer like her and when Ruth responds she’s extremely negative about it. She hopes that her daughters won’t have to work like she’s had to, to provide for their family. It seems like the reason why she hid behind a name was because she didn’t want to be in that position, she’d love to be a wife and a homemaker with her husband still alive.
In the novel Ruth Hall, it’s clear a woman’s role in society and the limited jobs available for women. Ruth Hall went from wife and homemaker to single mom struggling to put food on the table. The ideal image would be the women with the children at all times like the picture depicts below:
We see, after Ruth’s husband dies, she tries to go to a tailor shop and ask for a job mending and sewing. In which, the owner refuses to give her a job because he’s aware she comes from a wealthy family and she doesn’t have a place to keep her children while she’s at work. The role of a woman was mainly to be surrounded by their children if they had any.
Another option for women who are educated, like Ruth, is to be a school teacher. However, they have to go through a series of tests.
Ruth Hall struggled to get a job to provide for her children because of the limited jobs for women during her time. Being an educated women she had the advantage of becoming something more in which she does as a writer.
While searching articles on Ruth Hall a main argument that I saw was on the Fanny Ferns depiction of capitalism and the traditional way.
An article called Fanny Fern’s 1855 Ruth Hall, the cheerful brutality of capitalism, & the Irony of sentimental rhetoric , it addresses her fight against other scholarly views, mainly men in education. I read the book in a different light, due to the fact that Fanny Fern became famous during a time when women were extremely limited to what they were allowed to do. To be an educated woman who was boldly outspoken was rare and Fanny Fern was the rare find. Taking a political look, Fern intrigues me for her strength and wit.
Ruth Hall grew up in the 1800s where a woman’s role was primarily reproductive. Her classmates view on pretty women not being clever stems from what they’ve been born into. Women’s rights to obtain a higher education was on the rocks. I think the mentality of Hall’s classmates is still alive in today in many parts of our world. Hall was encouraged by her father to be more successful. In the first few chapters, we learn how Hall was more focused on her studies as she got prettier because she wasn’t all concerned about boys the way her classmates were. During the time that Ruth Hall would be in boarding school in the 1800s was a turning point for women in education.
“The 1800’s brought the most significant changes for women in education. Early in the century there was rapid growth in secondary education. The development of collegiate education for women followed and my mid century, women were being admitted to coeducational state colleges.”NWHM
Fanny Fern was apart of a movement of women who worked to obtain more for themselves. People like Marie Curie, the first female Noble Prize winner. However, there are inequalities in today’s society when it comes to a strong, beautiful intelligent woman having a position in power.
“I’ve always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation.” Queen Rania of Jordan – Click
In the late 1800s women were able to work as teachers, nurses, bookkeepers, typists, secretaries and shop clerks.
Women in America are still facing inequalities, especially in the work place. In current day United States, we see women pursuing higher educations, rising up as CEO’s, CFO’s. Recently, Hillary Clinton broke the “glass ceiling” for women in the U.S., by becoming the first woman in history to ever make it to be a final presidential nominee representing the Democratic Party.
“The inequalities to the detriment of men would be well entrenched at the aggregate level in 2025, with some 1.4 female students for every male. In some countries (Austria, Canada, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom) there could be almost twice as many female students as male.”-OECD
“Despite these educational gains, women continue to lag behind men in employment, income, business ownership, research and politics. This pattern of inequality suggests that societal expectations and cultural norms regarding the appropriate roles for men and women as well as inherent biological differences between the sexes are limiting the benefits of women’s educational advantage.”-Joseph Chamie
“I always wanted to be a femme fatale. Even when I was a young girl, I never really wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a woman.” —Diane von Furstenberg
The Fallen Woman is a term that’s been heard throughout history and literature. One of the first examples that popped into my mind was the movie Princess Diaries. Where Anne Hathaway plays a unpopular teenager who finds out she’s royalty, the sequel leads to Hathaway’s character having to find someone to marry, so she can solidify her role as producing an heir to the throne. Feeling the pressure of her country she starts to date different men that would fit the role as future king. As time passes, people start to close in on her about being with someone until she finally decides she doesn’t want to be with someone. During that moment people around her were portraying her as what is an example of a “Fallen Woman”.
Many of you who have seen the Princess Diaries’ movies, know that the story ends with Anne Hathaway’s character gaining acceptance for choosing to be single as the Queen of Genovia.
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” ―Madonna
If women don’t meet the expectations of society, even today’s society, they get ousted as disappointments or in this case ‘Fallen Women’.
“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”—Beyoncé
However, history is changing for women in society. Today, we have women breaking the glass ceiling in areas like running for the President of the United States like Hillary Clinton is doing so today. We have women CEO’s and other powerhouse females breaking barriers. Though, the ‘Fallen Women’ trope is still alive today theres a long way to go for the females of our world.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” —Maya Angelou
Blog post #1: Dating advice? Choose a passage in The Coquette and think about it in the context of contemporary dating advice—a site you may have read online, a book or movie like He’s Just Not That into You, an app, or any other self-help or advice literature you want to use to contextualize the novel. Provide links, quotes, or other materials.
The battle of choosing between two men, or even choosing to be with anyone at all. In The Coquette, we see the letters to and from Eliza Wharton, her views on dating, where in her world leads to marriage.
Your friends, Eliza, said she, would be very happy to see you united to a man of Mr. Boyer’s worth; and so agreeable settled, as he has a prospect of being. I hope, said I, that my friends are not so weary of my company, as to wish to dispose of me. Marriage is the tomb of friendship. It appears to me a very selfish state. Why do people, in general, as soon as they are married, centre all their cares, their concerns, and pleasures on their own families? Former acquaintances are neglected or forgotten. The tenderest ties between friends are weakened, or dissolved; and benevolence itself moves in a very limited sphere. – To Miss Lucy Freeman, New Haven, Letter XII
In this quote, it’s addressed clearly her stance on marriage, what it does to friendships and how it changes a person in ways that distastes her. In comparison to modern love stories or tragedies that topic is always of what marriage and dating can do to friendships and the advice brought by another colleague.
In the movie How to Lose a guy in 10 days, we see a writer finding ways to get rid of a guy, doing all the wrong and right things.
Welcome to Dancing Lost at Sea: The Creative Mind of a Women in Literature! I’m Cheyanne Gonzales, an undergraduate student at a school in New York City, majoring in Journalism and double minoring in Anthropology and English, aspiring to continue my academic focus on cultural anthropological and ethnological studies in South East Asia.
This blog will focus on discussing, interpreting and contrasting various unknown yet powerful american women writers.
The blog name “Dancing Lost at Sea” comes from a series of short stories I wrote back in High School.