Unruly Tongue: Identity and Voice in American Women's Writing, 1850-1930

By Martha J. Cutter | Go to book overview

1
The Problem of Voice in American culture, 1850-1930

A s argued in the introduction, the transition from the "True Woman" to the "New Woman" created profound changes in women's identity and voice. Literature both reflects and shapes this transition, but the focus of this chapter will be how this shift was manifested in cultural and historical texts. Advice manuals and other cultural materials illustrate that the cult of domesticity interconnected women's identity and a subservient language, encouraging women to be silent in the face of male authority. Yet, as my discussion of speeches at the 1893 World's Congress of Representative Women demonstrates, by the late nineteenth century both African American and Anglo American women were contesting these ideas and embracing a more radical concept of women's voice. As the New Woman's unruly tongue became a force of social instability, newspapers, cartoons, poems, and drawings were marshaled both to endorse and to critique this image. Such cultural materials demonstrate that the New Woman's voice was feared not only because it reflected a different use of language but also because it reflected a more theoretical approach to women's social and linguistic empowerment. In the early twentieth century, woman's "unruly member," her unruly tongue, was set loose, and American culture would never again be the same.

Although a number of critics have recently discussed the cult of domesticity, few consider this subject in terms of women's conception of voice. Rather, they examine whether this set of ideas was a rhetoric rather than a reality, arguing that most women exercised power both in the realm of the home and in the public sphere. Nina Baym, for example, believes that women who wrote history from

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Unruly Tongue: Identity and Voice in American Women's Writing, 1850-1930
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.