Prof. Robert Bond
Lessons for a Woman
1) The author is Nancy Lee Swann, and the speaker in the text is Ban Zhao Pan Chao, a member of the Han dynasty. From the introduction we learn that she was the daughter of the writer Ban Biao and was very well educated and came from a good family, where she was married and basically went from being extremely well taken care of to just another house wife. When her husband died, she didn’t remarry but instead took up writing and carried in through her family. 2) The text goes back to about 45-116 CE, probably around 60 CE, as she didn’t start writing until her husband had passed away. The intended audience was probably woman, assuming mainly her daughters because that is whom she really addresses in the text. 3) The purpose of the text is basically what Ban Zhao believes are the ways woman should live according to after being married. She believes that men are loyal to woman as woman are loyal to men, and that a woman should never question the authority over her, especially her parents or step-parents. It basically outlines how a woman should act in society, and also a woman’s status in society. Reliability, the text could be mistranslated by those who had read it. Also, she asks that woman rewrite the text to keep for herself, and in this woman could have miswritten or even altered the text in some way. 4) Why did the speaker never remarry when she thought of men so highly above her? Was this text really thought to be of value, and did other woman believe in this? Were there any consequences or anyone that did not believe this style of thinking? Did woman ever rebel against being thought of so low? 5) The book addresses gender roles in that woman were ‘subordinate’ to men. The text definitely agrees with this piece in that woman were not thought on the same level as man, and that the only use for woman was to boar children, teach their children, and marry them off....
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