Sandford on Women

Author – Elizabeth Poole Sandford wrote literature aimed at middle class women.

Context –  “Woman in Her Social and Domestic Character” was written in 1842 and was about the assumptions of the domestic, motherly, and religious duties of the housewife. It was written during the time of the Industrial Revolution, during many technological and social changes.

Language – Her language is clear and she writes in a convincing manner.

Audience – Her audience was middle and upper class men and women.

Intent – Her intent is to clarify gender roles of the time, and to point out exactly where a woman belongs in society and in marriage. She also wanted to point out that the romantic ideals of the early 19th century were in decline.

Message – A woman’s place is in the home, and should look to her husband for support, because women are the weaker of the sexes. Women do not need to be employed or have a job outside of the home, as this was seen as something only the poor needed to do and as an unfeminine characteristic.

One thought on “Sandford on Women

  1. There is a strong sense of fear in her writings as well. She sees her ideal 19th century gender roles changing along with women’s movements and the second industrial revolution, and this is her response to the culture shift at the time. The fear is evident when she uses phrases such as “contrary to nature” when referring to feminine independence- it is evident that she is trying to make broad claims about humanity to convince others that these roles are the inherent ones.

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