women writers, the novel and the public sphere

18th Century Women Literature

Women’s writing in the eighteen century has evolved with an increase in female writers, evident with the sharp rise in their novel production and female novelists outnumbering the male novelists in some subgenres likethe epistolary novel, poetry, and drama (Spencer 2).However, such women’s achievements have been belittled with some reviewers claiming that statistical evidence showing women’s successive writings is bias.We will use the first option-“The Public Dimension of Women’s Writing” to identify the public’s position and view of women writers about the novel.

Discuss the relationship between women writers, the novel and the public sphere

The novel as a genre established its morality by regarding use references to be of little worth, thereby rapidly eclipsing the earlier work by woman novelists before eighteen century (3). Some of the feminine writers before the eighteenth century used amatory fiction to focus on politics to inform the public on sexual misconduct and corruption among politicians. Contrastingly, women novelists work after eighteen century have been regarded to be of private form due to their concentration on family life and domestic issues, failing to map political role in their work (3) directly.There is increasing instability because of the public and private sphere, which have no stable distinctions. Propositions have been issued, and all are disregarding a model of fields separated depending on gender, which could categorically put men in the public sphere and confine women in domestic and familial life. The public sphere, mostly dominated by men, did not limit women’s rights to publication.Women published novels claiming a public role as women writers in domestic and state power (4). They also championed for equality and women recognition in society.

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What do the selected passages say about the importance of a novel’s form and genre for women writers?

Women writers, as stated earlier, used amatory fictionto disregard unfavorable leadership by prominent politicians in the government. Women in the second half of the century commenced writing a feminine sentimental novel to promote equality since men had retained the freedom of experimentation all through the century.Women writers used the novel to propose for the new public sphere, which would see them included in societal power (4).

How does the development of eighteenth-century novels relate to the place women in the private and public spheres?

Men dominated public spheres while women were confined in the private sphere, which mainly focused on family and domestic issues.The development of novels led to the emergence of feminist who articulated claims about women being included in the public and social role. Women do not seem to worry about them being confined in homes; what bothers them is the value they get in those homes. Women novelists negotiate for moral authority both in public and domestic setting and champion for a society that recognizes the importance of female life.

What role does the domestic space play in feminizing the public sphere? 

Domestic settings had immense importance since it was considered as a moral carrier of domestic virtues which were constituted in the new public sphere (4). In Sarah Fielding’s story, domestic values and vices are demonstrated where Cleopatra pursuits power through sexual seduction on successive lovers, Antony and Julius Caesar. At the same time, Octavia is truthful and straightforward and values domestic virtues.Cleopatra rivals with his sister Octavia and Cleopatra orders Antony to kill her and his brothers. Later Cleopatra power declined after Antony was defeated in the battle.Cleopatra’s story shows the outcomes of domestic vices replicated in leadership (6) (public sphere).

In conclusion, women writers in the eighteenth century increased, almost outnumbering men in some genres.Women novelists participated in the politicizing and broadening of novel publications to negotiate for public role and women’s place in the power framework in society and state.Domestic virtues and settings were highly praised and valued since the domestic part was included in the new public sphere. The author highlights the theme of feminism all through the article championing for equality,recognition of female life, and inclusion of females in state and social power structure.

Work cited

Spencer, J. Women Writers, and Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1-16. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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