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Women in the 19th Century

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Women in the 19th Century

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  • April 10, 2013
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A desire for Equality
The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries hosted uproar among the women of America who sought equal representation and rights from the U.S. government. Among the female activists, authors, such as Willa Cather and Louisa May Alcott, began to commence about women's suffrage through their writing. A multitude of other women, such as Anne Sullivan, began to feel empowered to become independent and strong females, just as able and equal as men. Women faced an immense amount of difficulty during this time period, but the ones who acquired perseverance and strength often were the ones who achieved success. Success speaks for itself in Anne Sullivan's case, she was the first person to ever teach a blind and deaf person. While facing the obstacles of teaching a disabled child, Anne achieved success by exhibiting perseverance. Anne’s pupil, Helen Keller, and Helen’s father, Captain Arthur Keller, was often in dispute with Anne due to their contrasting beliefs. Captain Keller didn’t believe that women could be independent; he was adamant in his belief that women were feeble and lesser than men. In, Captain Keller didn’t have confidence in Anne’s teaching, which is exemplified during a conversation with his wife when he responds, “Katie, the point is she's ruined any chance she ever had of getting along with the child. If you can see any point or purpose of her staying on here longer, it's more than I can”, which shows that he does not think that Anne can achieve in teaching Helen. Anne’s beliefs contrast Captain Keller’s, which poses many difficulties for Anne because she must deal with his criticisms and non-supporting attitude, which does not assist her in teaching Helen in any way. Also, when a young child, Anne consistently told her elders that she wanted to be educated and go to school, a laughable notion at the time. This mockery of women’s desire for education was apparent for every woman in America, especially Anne due to her disability....