Figuring Modesty in Feminist Discourse Across the Americas, by Tamara Harvey

By Tamara Harvey

Artistic in its procedure and provocative in its research, this examine bargains clean readings of the arguments and practices of 4 seventeenth-century Euro-American ladies: Anne Bradstreet, Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Ines de l. a. Cruz, and Marie de l'Incarnation. Tamara Harvey right here compares functionalist remedies of the physique through those girls, delivering a brand new solution to reflect on corporeality as a tool in literary and non secular expressions of modesty through girls. In doing so, Harvey explores the engagement of those girls in ongoing non secular, political, medical and social debates that will were understood by way of the authors' contemporaries in either Europe and the US.

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Extra resources for Figuring Modesty in Feminist Discourse Across the Americas, 1633-1700 (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

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Still, she follows Choler in claiming individual rule (“I moderately am all, what need I more”). These lines presage Flegme’s final plea for cooperation among the humors, but here unifying force is put forward as an argument for hierarchical dominance, whereas in Flegme’s 30 Figuring Modesty in Feminist Discourse Across the Americas, 1633–1700 solution, as we shall see, unity is a sign of bodily integrity that reconfigures the concept of preeminence. Melancholy, in turn, rejects Choler’s rage and expresses a certain ironic suspicion of Blood’s professed reason and humility.

And one thing more to close with my narration. Of all that lives, I cause the propagation. (26) Sexual difference and the claim that the sexes are distinguished by their relative heat frame Choler’s argument and establish the initial terms of the debate among the humors. ” Significantly, Choler is asserting the kind of Aristotelian and older Galenist theory “Now Sisters ... impart your usefulnesse, and force” 29 of sexual difference with which functionalists like Crooke take issue. Choler asserts her preeminence based on a scale of greatness: she has the noblest lineage, the most military might, the greatest intellectual vigor, and the most heat.

However, Bradstreet’s skill in this poem is especially evident in the way she mirrors the characteristics of the humors, often ironically, in the logic and rhetoric of each speaker. For instance, Choler begins by strongly asserting her superiority and right to reign over the other humors, but ends by claiming, “I have been sparing, what I might have said,/I love no boasting, that’s but childrens trade” (26). Blood immediately points out this hypocrisy. To pay with railings, is not mine intent, But to evince the truth, by argument.

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