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GWST 374 Response Paper #5

What were madame du coudray s feelings towards her

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What were Madame du Coudray ‘s feelings towards her niece and nephew? Though she loved her niece and her husband Coutanceau, and it would seem as though she would want her niece to take over the profession once she passed, du Coudray didn’t seem to press towards her niece taking over, but her nephew. She sought employment for her nephew instead of her niece, which raises a red flag. If she loved her niece so much, and believed that women were just as capable if not more than men to be midwives, why would she focus so much on her nephew’s success? I also don’t understand why she stopped teaching women altogether in her later years. Did she have a change of heart and feel that men could get the job done better? I still found it interesting that after she tried
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to set up things for her nephew, her niece was the one who followed in du Coudray’s footsteps by traveling and teaching and becoming a famous midwife as well, and her nephew stayed at home with his son. Du Coudray took care of her niece and nephew financially in her later years possibly by selling the gifts she’d received over the years, which showed her love and dedication to the both of them. But if she loved them so much, why did two strangers, rather than her family find her dead in the end? The time she needed them the most, they weren’t there for her. Each reading, I always ask myself how women were viewed during this time period and how it compares or contrasts to now. A group that opposed du Coudray felt as though it was a mistake of the King to allow du Coudray so much authority. Some
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