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Ar’n’t I a Woman by Deborah Gray White, and Plantation Mistresses by Catherine Clinton Essay

Table of Contents Monograph Paper

Ar’n’t I a Woman

Plantation Mistresses


Works Cited

Monograph Paper From historical times, women have been at the center of attention for one reason or another. This monograph paper examines two women-based studies dealing with historical women issues. The two books analyzed here are, Ar’n’t I a Woman by Deborah Gray White, and Plantation Mistresses, by Catherine Clinton. The two books talk of women suffering; however, the women in Deborah White’s book suffered and faced more challenges and difficulties than those in Clinton’s book.

Ar’n’t I a Woman In the history of slavery, especially North American slavery, a particular group of people suffered the greatest deplorable situations and that is African-American slave women. Despite this group standing out courtesy to its great suffering, many historians chose to focus on their male counterparts who did not suffer greatly as the women did. This fact might have led Deborah White to come up with this masterpiece.

To cap it, Deborah makes it clear that, “men played the dominant role in slave society…Most recently light has finally begun to be shed on women. Emphasis of recent literature on slavery has been on negating Samboism” (White 21-22). The thesis revolves around exploring the female slavery, bringing to light the challenges that these people went through at the same time demystifying long held flawed notions that society has come to accept about female slavery.

From the flawed notion that women were out to get a lover, everyone down looked women. White posits that, “Slavery is terrible for men: but it is far more terrible for women” (White 62). Women slaves did a lot of work just like any other slave; moreover, they had to face the challenge of bearing children, facing overcoming biting challenges that come with motherhood.

Bearing children was not a choice as many people think; no, it was a requirement from the masters so that there would be sustainable labor force throughout. Moreover, there was the ever present challenge of sexual abuse as White indicates that, “From the very beginning of a woman’s enslavement she had to cope with sexual abuse, abuse made legitimate by the conventional wisdom that black women were promiscuous Jezebels” (White 89).

As girls entered their teenage, they had to stay close to their mothers and other women to learn how to handle issues in slavery world. By late teenage, one was expected to give birth and if she could not bear children due to one reason or the other, she would be sold to other slave owners.

Barrenness destroys the ego of a woman; however, in addition to her broken and shattered personality, a barren woman had to face the challenge of living away from her relatives. This was more than brutality; it was suicidal. By robbing a barren woman, what she had; that is, a family to lean on, was tantamount to terminating her life.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More A typical woman had to work in the fields like her male counterpart, cook, and take care of her family. Additionally, she had to protect her family because the husbands could not become defensive for fear of victimization on grounds of rebellion. It is unbelievable that women had to work even whilst pregnant.

White posits that, “They were the only women in America who were sexually exploited with impunity, stripped and whipped with a lash, and worked like oxen” (White 132). Despite these challenges, these women still endured to see the light of abolishment of slave trade as the Civil war commenced.

Plantation Mistresses This masterpiece serves as a link between the blemished notions about southern white women and the reality or at least logical explanation of how these people were. Clinton focuses on elite women, married to plantation and slave owners in the South. Despite the fact, that many people assumed that these women lived good life by virtue of being wives of slave owners, Clinton posits that, “These women were merely prisoners in disguise” (Clinton 109). They encountered the abomination of slavery sometimes suffering like slaves.

These women lived isolated and restricted lives; they could not study as they were expected to remain back home to look after children and manage homes. Theirs was a life full of untold loneliness and probably this is what led many to laudanum addiction.

However indirectly, slavery affected these women as Clinton posits that, “Patriarchy was the bedrock upon which the slave society was founded, and slavery exaggerated the pattern of subjugation that patriarchy had established” (Clinton 6). This implies that women were there to be seen not to be heard and this amounted to slavery.

They lost their ability to make decisions concerning their lives. This “ensured that a woman remained as securely bound to the land as her husband’s other property…Every woman was an island, isolated unto herself” (Clinton 179). Clinton’s argument is that plantation mistresses remained incapacitated dupes of the mythos of their culture and finesse that plantation owners developed.

Conclusion These two groups of women suffered oppression and had to deal with different challenges. However, Women in Deborah White’s work suffered greater challenges and difficulties than women in Catherine Clinton’s work. The fact that the former were slaves whilst the former were wives to slave owners qualifies this conclusion supporting the thesis at the beginning of the paper that, the women in Deborah White’s book suffered and faced more challenges and difficulties than those in Clinton’s book.

We will write a custom Essay on Ar’n’t I a Woman by Deborah Gray White, and Plantation Mistresses by Catherine Clinton specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Works Cited Clinton, Catherine. “The Plantation Mistress: Woman’s World in the Old South.” New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.

White, Deborah. “Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South.” New York: W.W. Norton

Admiration by William Adolphe Bouguereau Essay (Critical Writing)

Nursing Assignment Help Nineteenth century painting witnessed an unprecedented array of trends, ranging from Neoclassicism to Impressionism and Symbolism. In this variety of currents, there still were artists who managed to preserve their dedication to one trend throughout whole their life.

One of them is William Adolphe Bouguereau, a French academic painter who kept true to realistic genre paintings and traditional mythological subjects (Grove Dictionary 40). Bouguereau’s oil on canvas Adoration (1897) is a classical example of Academic-style painting, involving an almost photo-realistic depiction of the models in a pseudo-mythological scene.

Bouguereau’s academism reveals itself in the way the artist employs visual elements and principles. The clear, transparent colors set off the main group against a darker background and make it almost glowing, tinting the perfect translucent skin by the soft dark coloring of some clothing.

The color palette is reserved and yet serene, which supports the general calm and tranquil mood of the painting. The gentle lines of the bodies merge in harmony, revealing the natural perfection of human stature. Draped in softly falling tunics, the female bodies remind of the contours of the ancient statues. Polishing the skin texture to flawlessness, by play of light and shadow Bouguereau creates rounded and soft shapes that attract and delight by their innocent grace.

The center of interest in the painting, emphasized by the color contrasts, is definitely the central group of five young women, reaching out for a yet more important figure of a boy in the center of the composition. On the one hand, his figure is helping to balance the three female figures on the left.

On the other hand, he is a self-sufficient central figure. This visual balance is achieved by placing the boy’s body exactly in the middle of the painting and leveling out the three figures on the left by painting one of them in dark clothing and making it less visible at first sight.

The group of six is placed on a darker background of a forest — such “primeval woods” background is typical for Bouguereau (Van Hook 46); and yet farther at a distance one sees ancient temples placed on a hill. This three-level perspective reminds of the compositional principles practiced by the Renaissance artists.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Together with the formal aspects, Bouguereau employs semantic elements to emphasize his academic orientation. The title of the painting refers the viewer to the religious theme of adoration of the Magi. In Bouguereau’s Adoration, however, the Biblical figures of the Magi and the newborn Christ are replaced by the group of young women expressing their admiration to a flaunting boy.

This reminds, in its turn, of the ancient subject of adoration of Cupid by nymphs. The boy in Bouguereau’s painting possesses most of Cupid’s typical attributes: wings and arrow which he is still deciding where to shoot. Reminding of the Biblical Magi, one of the young women is holding a bouquet of flowers, as a gift to the newborn and a guarantee of his favor.

As a symbol of the painting’s reference to antiquity, Bouguereau places the silhouettes of the ancient temples in the background. The non-conflict, placid atmosphere of the painting reminds of the pastoral images of the Greeks and provides yet another link to the classical art.

Classified by his contemporaries as one of the most ardent followers of “academic realism”, William Adolphe Bouguereau confirms this title throughout all his creative life (Van Hook 43). One of his late works, Adoration, demonstrates how little his style changed, revealing impeccable academic professionalism both in visual elements and principles and in content and subject matter.

Works Cited Bouguereau, William Adolphe. Admiration. 1897. San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas.

“Bouguereau, William(-Adolphe).” The Grove Dictionary of Art: From Monet to Cézanne: Late 19th-Century French Artists. 2000. Print.

Van Hook, Bailey. Angels of Art: Women and Art in American Society, 1876-1914. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1996. Print.

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