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Woolf and Wollstonecraft - Essay Example

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With the introduction of the production line factory and the machine during the 1800s, more and more individuals were moving to the cities to seek work. This had the effect of bringing the women in from the fields on the farms to the kitchens and family rooms of the urban middle class. This emerging middle class gave birth to what has since been referred to as the Cult of the True Woman. This term was first coined by Barbara Welter in the mid-1960s (1966) to be used in referring to a set of ideas and beliefs regarding the proper structure of the quintessential well-bred family. The ideal middle class life was thus firmly established as consisting of a father going off to work and a mother who stayed at home and reared the children. Yet, recognition of the fallacies of this doctrine had already long been recognized. Virginia Woolf, writing during the early 20th century is widely recognized as one of the first modernist feminists of the 20th century, but comparison with another revolutionary feminist writer of the 18th century, Mary Wollstonecraft, reveals that she was perhaps not as innovative as she is credited.
The introduction of the feminist movement was a long-time coming and a slow process, yet inevitable with the advances that were being made in the lifestyles of humans in developing countries. “The onset of industrialization at the beginning of the nineteenth century highlighted differences among women just as it exacerbated those between men and women workers” (Kessler-Harris, 1991). Widows, single women and women with no better prospects flocked to the growing mill towns of England and America attracted by the relatively high wages that were promised in the factories as compared to the low yield of the fields, but the glorious dreams of potential quickly faded in the realities of the city. Factory owners began working to reduce costs, lowering wages and demanding more work at the same time that living expenses in the city continued to ...Show more


They were permitted into the fields and orchards of medieval society because of the need for an extra pair of hands to ensure the survival of the…
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Woolf and Wollstonecraft essay example
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