ESL 185 Writing Assignment
December 9, 2005
“Sor Juana” is a biography of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz written by Octavio Paz and translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. It is a book of 470 pages divided in six parts that besides Sor Juana’s life and work, explain the difficulties of the time for an intellectual woman. It was published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1988. Reading this book gave me the best opportunity to know more about someone that although has been very influential in my entire life, I didn’t know all her history. My admiration and respect for Sor Juana started since I was a child and one of my sisters used to read her poems. Through my literature classes I knew a little more about her and the admiration and respect continued growing. Sor Juana became for me a stereotype of intellect, power, femininity, persistence and freedom combined with the devotion to God. Her story makes me learn to follow my dreams, to be ambitious, and over all to never ever give up.
Juana Ines de la Cruz was born in Mexico in 1648. She grew up in the Panayan Hacienda, which was run for her mother for more than thirty years although she never learned to read. Sor Juana started to take lessons at age or three. During a long period of her childhood, she didn’t eat cheese because “It made one slow-witted,” and “Desire for learning was stronger than the desire for eating.” By the time she was six or seven, she knew how to read and write. As she couldn’t go to the university (because she was a woman), she studied and read by herself. She used to cut-off several inches of her hair (when hair was considered one of the most important female features), as a challenge for new learning “A head shouldn’t be adorned with hair and naked of learning” If she didn’t meet the goal, then she cut it again. Sor Juana was sent to Mexico City when she was eight to live with her...
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