Ruth As A True Woman Essay.docx - ENG 112 3 April 2016 Is...

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ENG 112 3 April 2016 Is Ruth a True Woman? In the 19 th century, women were encouraged to follow a set of guidelines during their life based off their social class. However, as decades have passed, society has steered away from those guidelines and now live by their own guidelines. In the essay “A Cult to True Womanhood” by Barbara Welter, Welter defines what the 19 th century “True Woman” of the middle class was supposed to be like. “Woman, in the cult of True Womanhood presented by the women’s magazines, gift annuals, and religious literature of the nineteenth century, was the hostage of the home” (Welter 151). Women were to follow a set of guidelines when running their household, while men focused on working to provide for the family financially. Women were to follow these set of guidelines to be a true woman: The attributes of True Womanhood, by which a woman judged herself and was judged by her husband, her neighbors and society could be divided into four cardinal virtues-piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. Put them together and they spelled mother, daughter, sister, wife-woman. Without them, no matter whether there was fame, achievement or wealth, all was ashes. With them she was promised happiness and power. (Welter 152) To be a pious woman, she had to be religious and for God. She was to attend church, pray and only read from religious texts. Men often navigated away from religion while working to provide for the family. However, his wife was supposed to be encourage him to be religious and continue to attend church. She was to be the religious example in the home. In addition, when men look for their future wives, they were to look for piety in a woman and everything else would follow.
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