LIT150 Unit Iv City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College Killing the “the Angel in The House”


City Colleges of ChicagoHarold Washington College

Question Description

Can you help me understand this Literature question?

As we enter the 20th century, we will experience several breakthrough readings by a few of our women writers. These authors are considered modernist writers who took on the issues and problems of women in this newer time. Women are now enjoying more freedom and opportunities, yet they still have limited options especially compared to men. During this unit, you will be exposed to the famous and familiar idea to kill the "angel in the house". Think about these words, what they mean, and how they are felt throughout the unit readings. Women are fighting to express their voices in many non-traditional ways. They are battling for positions to be active alive human beings who are fully conscious of the struggle to win basic human rights. Before this point in history, the majority of written representations have been created by men. In this unit, we will see women writers build a different and influential foundation set by the few women authors before them.

List of Readings and Assignments

  • Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, "A Clever Woman" and "Marriage"
  • Zora Neale Hurston "Sweat"


Mrs. Dalloway's story

Hurston and the Harlem Renaissance

LIT 150 Marital Bliss or Miss?

The readings for this week present some strong and even controversial ideas about women and marriage. These readings explore what happens to a woman when she becomes a wife. The accepted view in society is that her life will be better, more fulfilled, enhanced, and comfortable. However, this ideal is not always realistic and true, as the authors contemplate the conditions and restrictions of marriage. For this discussion, share your views on the following questions: In three short paragraphs, be sure to answer the questions in complete, correct, detailed, and well-supported sentences

1. According to the readings, how can a woman's life be affected after she becomes a wife?

2. How are the lives of married women today similar to those images presented in the readings?

3. How different are the lives of married women now, compared to the female characters in our readings?

Please respond to at least 2 other student with 5-7sentence if you agree or disagree with their post and explain why.

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A Clever Woman by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge You thought I had the strength of men, Because with men I dared to speak, And courted science now and then, And studied Latin for a week; But woman's woman, even when She reads her Ethics in the Greek. You thought me wiser than my kind; You thought me "more than common tall' You thought because I had a mind, That I could have no heart at all; But woman's woman you will find, Whether she be great or small. And then you needs must die--ah, well! I knew you not, you loved not me. 'Twas not because that darkness fell, You saw not what there was to see. But I that saw and could not tell-O evil Angel, set me free! Poem of the Day: “Marriage” by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge No more alone sleeping, no more alone waking, Thy dreams divided, thy prayers in twain; Thy merry sisters tonight forsaking, Never shall we see, maiden, again. Never shall we see thee, thine eyes glancing. Flashing with laughter and wild in glee, Under the mistletoe kissing and dancing, Wantonly free. There shall come a matron walking sedately, Low-voiced, gentle, wise in reply. Tell me, O tell me, can I love her greatly? All for her sake must the maiden die! Zora Neale Hurston "Sweat" on_short_story.pdf Please respond to at least 2 other student with 5-7sentence if you agree or disagree with their post and explain why. Student 1 Pam Because of the financial and social security that comes with marriage, it is often a major life goal of women to get married. However, women are actually less well off in terms of physical, mental, and financial health if they become married. In contrast, many men dread getting married as they think they will be "tied down," but men, on average, are actually better off when they do. When a woman gets marred to a man, she oftentimes shoulders more responsibility. Not only does she have to take care of herself, now, but she also has to provide for her husband and her children. Sometimes, people will say that marriage is fair because the man takes care of the family financially while the woman performs the child-rearing and household duties. However, as is exemplified in "Sweat," by Zora Neale Hurston, it often happens that both of these duties fall to the woman. If a man neglects his duties as a husband and father, whatever they are determined to be, the woman then has to take responsibility for raising and providing for herself and her children. Additionally, marriage oftentimes sets women up to major vulnerabilites such as domestic abuse. In short, marriage for a woman is a huge risk, oftentimes downgrading a woman's quality of life. Married women today share many of the same issues as the women in the readings for this week. Even though we supposedly live in a society where men and women are equal, a lot of the responsibility still falls on the shoulders of the woman. Women are lucky if a man helps around the house (note that I said help because it is often assumed to be the responsibility of the woman), and I hardly know anyone whose boyfriends or husbands do so without being asked repeatedly. Women are expected to "grow up" and abandon any fun they once enjoyed, while men are allowed to be themselves often until they day they die. This sentiment is echoed in "Marriage" by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, in which she states, "Never shall we see thee...flashing with laughter and wild in glee...wantonly free." Although married women still are at a disadvantage to their male counterparts, there have been some legal advances. For example, women, provided they sign a pre-nup, are allowed to control and keep any property and assets that they previously had acquired. This is in contrast to the character Delia Jones in "Sweat," whose husband threatens to kick her out of the house that she bought with her own money. Delia's husband also takes the money that she earns washing clothes all week long and spends it on drinking and buying things for his mistress. Although women have made some headway in their rights as married women, there still exist large discrepancies between the benefits and downsides of marriage for women and men, usually leaning in the favor of men. Student 2.Alex V. Of course centuries ago it was more prevalent for the husband to be educated and be the breadwinner of the home. For many families, this meant that the wife’s main duty was housework and raising the children. Education nor the thought of a job was on the table for wives. This was the norm, and for some today it remains the norm. The idea of becoming a wife often comes with the expectation to live a happy and fulfilling life. Becoming a wife promises a better life in the sense that there will be a man to provide for the family and offer security. In the readings this week by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge and Zora Neale Hurston, we see that those promises are often broken. After becoming a wife, a woman’s life can be affected in multiple ways. In “Marriage,” Coleridge emphasizes that the once lively maiden can make a complete 360 in the way she presents herself. “ Never shall we see thee, thine eyes glancing, flashing with laughter and wild in glee, under the mistletoe kissing and dancin g, wantonly free.” Here, we see the speaker, perhaps the sisters of the maiden, make the observation that the once high spirited maiden once married will change for the worse. “There shall come a matron walking sedately, low voiced, gentle, wise in reply.” It is highlighted that once married the woman will act in a manner not true to her real self. Similarly, Zora Neale Hurston characterizes a married woman as one who has lost respect from her husband and is physically and emotionally drained. In “Sweat,” Delia would be better off not married to her husband Sykes. “She lifted her eyes to the door and saw him standing there bent over with laughter at her fright. She screamed at him. “Sykes, what you throw dat whip on me like dat? You know it would skeer me - looks just like a snake, an’ you knows how skeered Ah is of snakes.” “Course Ah knowed it! That’s how come Ah done it.” He slapped his leg with his hand and almost rolled on the ground in his mirth. “If you such a big fool dat you got to have a fit over a earth worm or a string, Ah don’t keer how bad Ah skeer you.” It is evident that Sykes has zero respect for Delia. After what constituted as a normal day full of abusive from her husband, Delia lay awake remembering how her marriage was at the beginning. “She was young and soft then, but now she thought of her knotty, muscled limbs, her harsh knuckly hands, and drew herself up into an unhappy little ball in the middle of the big feather bed.” As a result of her torturous marriage, Delia was physically deterio rating. These are just a couple of examples of how women can change after becoming wives. Today, not much has changed about marriage. Of course it is possible to have a happy and healthy marriage today and decades ago as well. But, there are also marriages that know nothing other than misery. The readings for this week presented two varying degrees of life as a married woman. In some cases there are still probably women who lose their liveliness as a result of marriage because they are expected to act like a civilized lady for the sake of their husbands. Similarly, there are women all around the world physically and mentally abused by their husbands just like Delia in Hurston’s “Sweat.” Compared to the female characters in our readings, today women face a little bit different of marital troubles. I think nowadays it is more acceptable for a woman to not desire to be wed. It is also more prevalent to see same sex marriages; but that does not mean the same components in these readings do not occur. Nowadays, women stay in marriages that no longer serve them for multiple reasons. Some are simply afraid of what will happen after divorce while others fear for their lives. It may be because of financial security for the sake of their children. There are still a number of women who are not financially independent and would not be able to support their children otherwise. Sometimes there is an underlying emotional reason for accepting abusive marriages or relationships in general. There are many more in depth reason s a married woman would stay; too many to name. It is disheartening to think that the characters in the readings are representative of real situations. Again, not every marriage is full of darkness, but there most definitely are cases where this type of su ffering similar to these characters does still happen ...
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Final Answer



Women and Marriage
Institutional Affiliation




Marriage should be a happy union where both parties gain something, but from the
readings, women seem to suffer from this decision. There are many social expectations for a
woman like in the case of Elizabeth Coleridge in “Marriage” who is considered less feminine as
she is educated. “Sweat” portrays the suffering that women experience in marriages, from
emotional to physical torture like Delia’s case. Women have more burdens to carry with most of
them expected to ignore their passions and please their husbands. The course material illustrates
that women are more likely to be unhappy and unsatisfied ...

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