Monday, December 19, 2005

"The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless" was an interesting read. It definitly was not as racy as Fantomina but it had alot of similarities. The book reminded me of Withering Heights. The plot seemed to be similar. Woman loves man but doesn't do anything about it. Woman marries another man (not the one she loves). Regrets her descion the rest of her days. Both woman stayed with the men they chose until the end. Of course the men died first. Betsy actually left her husband because she was miserable. Not alot of woman would have done that. In the end she goes back and becomes the wife she should have been. In Withering Heights Cathrine never goes back to Heathcliff or even imagines a life with him because of his status. Status drove alot of descions at this time. In the end Betsy knew that her descion to marry for status and not love was wrong. In the end both women stuck it out with whom they chose.

The character of Betsy also reminds me of Jane Austen's "Emma". Both foolish girls that make mistakes. Emma thinks she knows everything about people but learns in the end she doesn't. In a way Emma is thoughtless like Betsy.

Haywood's novel "Betsy Thoughtless" is very different from "Fantomina". The subjects in "Fantomina are very racy and sexual. In "Betsy Thoughtless" the focus seems to be on Betsy's mistakes. Haywood is almost warning girls about being thoughtless and what can happen. All in all i didn't really like "Betsy Thoughtless". I found it hard to read especially being at the end of the semester but it was ok.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Can you say Sammy Brady. This woman will do whatever she can to get this man. She changes her image three times to get closer to the man she is in love with. In the beginning of the story she feels she needs to dress up like a prostitute to get some attention from Beauplaisir. Of course once she was a prostitute he finally was interested in her. In the book it says "Beauplaisir thought he could not have a better Opportunity than these Words gave him of enquiring who she was, and wherefore she had feigned herself to be of a Profession which he was now convinced she was not" (Haywood, 605). In order to keep him interested she had to keep on reinventing herself.
The issue of rape comes up in the story. After she becomes a Fantomina he of course expects sex but she is not ready to give her virginity up yet. She is pretending to be a prostitute so therefore the man would obviously expect sex. But no matter what no means no. In this time chastity was very important. If you were not a virgin and unwed you were consisdered a lost cause. In Fantomina when her mother found out she was pregnant and there was no way she was going to marry Beauplaisir she sent her to a nunnery. It was really the only option for Fantomina. No man would marry her because she was not a virgin. I thought this was an interesting story. Also it would have been very racy for the time it was written in.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I liked reading "A Known Scribbler". The diary really showed what life was like for young women back then. We learn what things were like by taking classes or watching movies but reading someones diaries that really lived a long time ago is fascinating. One part in the diary where she described the ball she was going to and what everyone was wearing was interesting. I the diary she says "My dress was, a close pink persian Vest [with long close sleeves to my wrists, it was] ... had a gause frill round the waist" (pg. 68). Today you can see what things looked like but for someone to describe it was different.
I also liked how the diary had different forms of literature. It switched between journal entries, poems and letters. This kept the book interesting. In the diary Frances Burney talks about how people did not think she should write because it was wrong for women to write. She was persistent and liked to write so she continued. Her father found one of her diary entries and said if he ever found another one that he would burn her diary or something like that. Anyways there would be consequences if he found out she was writing. One of the women thought she shouldn't write and told Burney this but she convinced the women that she should write because she is so good at it. Burney is also very detailed in her journal entries. It seemed that she did not want to leave anything out. Even though she wanted to keep her journals secret and private I found it fascinating reading the life of someone who lived so long ago.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Alexander Pope's poem The Dunciad is very interesting because it is a competion of wits. In his poem Pope is satarizing both political and cultural ways of the time. Like Swift, Pope is satarizing the Whig government and the Hanoverian regim. In the poem it says, "Still Dunce the second rules like Dunce the first,". In this quote Pope is making fun of George the second. Most people of the time did not like George the first and continued to hate his son. Most people hated them because they were not from England and they barley spoke the language. People felt that they did not belong in England and they wanted the Tudor line to be brought back. Swift also makes the same attacks on George the first in Gulliver's Travels. Swift hated the Whig government and all it standed for. In Pope's poem he call George the King of the Dunces. Obviously calling him dull.
Pope also satirizes the culture of the time. He believes that anyone who writes for money is wrong and that they do not believe in what they are doing. He thought it was wrong to write for money because the art form got lost in the business aspects. Once people started writing for money the art form would be lost. It wasn't the people who wrote for money to keep themselves alive that Pope hated but it was the people that wrote "on cue for the highest bid". If you wrote for the sole purpose of money not for the fact that you loved to write.
Pope reminds me of Swift in alot of ways. His hatred of the Whigs and women. It's interesting that Pope started this competion to see who could write the dullest poem. It kind of reminds me of us and all our blogging. But none of us are actually trying to be dull!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"The Adventures of Rivella" was an interesting text. In the first of the book it says that women are punished for all things that men can get away with. In the book it says "But the charter of that sex being much more confined than ours, what is not a crime in men is scandalous and unpardonable in women" (Manley, 47). At the first of the book Manley talks about what a woman has to do to be wanted. These two men are talking about what a woman should have in order to be charming. One of the men says "Red hair, out-mouth, thin and livid lips, black broken teeth, course ugly hands, long thumbs, ill formed dirty nails, flat, or very large breasts, splay feet; which together makes a frightful compostion" (Manley, 48). These men are obviously very selective with who they would be aquainted with. Like Long Thumbs??? Who would dump someone over long thumbs? Anyways. Also they talk about Rivella being perfect except for the fact that she is Fat! In the book it says "Her person is neither tall nor short; from her youth she was inclined to fat" (Manley, 47). The two men says she is perfect except that she is fat. This story was a bit confusing to follow and definitly not my favorite text we have read but it wasn't bad. Women had to be perfect and if they did not look the way people thought they should look they were persecuted.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm having a really hard time coming up with a good idea for my paper. I'm thinking about doing it on Aphra Behn but i'm not sure what my thesis should be. The paper is due really soon and I am starting to get worried!!!! I want to write about the Rover and maby Oroonoko but what about them i'm going to write I have no idea!!! I liked both the texts but mabye I should choose something else.
Mary Wollstonecraft definitly lead an interesting life. She was a revolutionist who fought for what she believed in. Her most famous work was a Vindication of the rights of women. This work was very popular from the time it was first published. Mary Wollstonecraft believed that women should be educated and even opened a school for young women. During this time Wollstonecraft wrote some literature on the education of women. Throughout the vindication Wollstonecraft tries to persuade women that they should get a good education and that they can be successful in what they want to be. I did my presentation on Wollstonecraft and my web site is
Aphra Behn's the Rover was an enjoyable read. It didn't take long to read which was nice!! In the play there was alot of double standards. Women were seen as objects who didn't really have any say in their lives. The men in the play controled the women. It's interesting that Behn wrote this play being a women who had very strict boundaries. Most women of the time were really careful with what they wrote because women were not supposed to write anything radical. Behn did not conform to these rules. She is one of the only women writers of this time who would write about what she believed in. In the Rover we see women who know what they want. Men still very much control the women but she gives the women a voice. Behn recieved alot of criticizm with regards to her writing about women who had a mind. Other women of the time did not write as sexually explicit as Behn. The play is focused on two women, one of whom is a prostitute. Men are able to take advantage of her because of her postition. She decided to give up being a prostitute and lead a virtuous life and by doing this she loses all control over her life. Most of the women in the play were vulnerable and had a lack of choice.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Margaret Cavendish's Female Orations were very interesting. In one of them she is for women and in the next it seems like she is for men. I was a bit confused reading these to what side she was on. In the first line when she addresses the women she says "and other inferior women". You would think that a feminist would not call any women inferior. She stands up for women but also stands up for men. I like how she plays both sides. She says "we have no reason to speak against men, who are our admirers and lovers". Cavendish seems to want women to have more power and be better educated but doesn't want to take anything away from men. When reading this it's hard to decide what side you should be on?? I agree with what she says but find it funny that you can agree with two different sides. It seems tlike you should either be on mens side or on womens side. Mabye you can be on both.
In Mary Wroth's from Pamphilius to Amphilanthus she changes the traditional patriarcian sonnet. Normally it would be a man talking and in this poem it is a women talking. In this way she is giving the women a voice. Normally you wouldn't know the women's point of view. Although she gives the women a voice she women still has the tradional role of pining after a man. In this way the women is still weak. Wroth also addresses the issue of a sexual double standard. Women have to remain virgins until they are married while men while men's virtures do not involve chastity. If a women was not married and not a virgin she would be looked down upon and be seen as wasted or no good. At the time a women's virtues was much different from mens. Wroth wanted to know why this had to be. Why didn't men need to focus on chastity. This is still an issue today. If a women sleeps with alot of men she is considered to be bad while men that sleep with lots of women do not have a stigmatizism. It's interesting that Wroth is addressing this issue back in the 17th century and we are still discussing this issue in the 21st century.

I enjoyed doing the readings for this class. I especially liked Mary (Sidney) Herberts works. Number one because they were easy to read. And number two because they were interesting. I liked the dialogue between the two sheperds. When one sheperd said something the other one would try to out do the other sheperd. I have taken alot of history classes and Elizabeth was not liked at the beginning of her rein. No one wanted a female queen also there was alot of prejudice about women in general. I liked that these two men had alot of good to say about the queen. I also liked Queen Elizabeth's speeches. They were very powerful and for a women to actually come out and say what they feel would have be very unusual even for a queen. Elizabeth stands up for herself and does not let people degrade her. I liked the first of her speech to parliament on her marriage. She asks questions about herself and she seems very much in power and knows what she is doing.