Essay Child Rearing (19th Century)

6306 Words Jun 14th, 2013 26 Pages
Homework based on the seminar: Domesticity and Protest: American Women Writers in the Nineteenth Century
Wintersemester 2011/2012
PD Dr. Dr. h.c. xxxx

On Education and Child Rearing

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March 1st, 2012

Annie M.

Matrikel #: 2xxxxx

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse three short abridgments about education and child rearing in the 19th century. In the course of the essay it is to be examined who the writers were and how the texts were written and published.

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The good thing about these works is that they not only give us insights into what 19th-century writers thought parents should do, but also an idea of what parents actually were doing.

Literature on child rearing and education in the early national period shows that along with America’s industrialization came the seperation of life into two spheres: the private and the public sphere that were also linked to gender roles. The public sphere figure – the man – needed certain qualities, which had to adapt to the originality of a competitive commercial culture. The creation of this public figure though, happened in private, the domestic sphere belonging to the “Angel of the House” – the woman. The new nation of America demanded independent male citizens and they were to be created by the mother. One that fitted into that occuring motherhood cult. Writers during that period suggested that certain emotions like jealousy and anger were unproductive and parents were to support their children, to control their tempers and self-discipline. Also parents were to watch their own anger, as homes were seen as a “haven in a heartless world”[1] After the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859 a new psychology evoluted and it suggested that instincts were features that needed to be acknowlegded in rearing children who were no longer seen as just

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