During The Romantic Era, Civil Rights Movements Began To

1665 WordsFeb 18, 20177 Pages
During the Romantic Era, civil rights movements began to gain strength. Through various methods, advocates of such causes garnered support and brought attention to perceived problems in the status of various peoples. Poetry was one of these methods, but the specifics of its implementation, from appeals to literary devices, varied. “Washing Day” by Anna Lutita Barbauld used emotions and imagery to support women 's rights, but The Negro 's Complaint, an abolitionist poem by Cowper, focused on ethics to sway its readers. The purpose of “Washing Day” is evident by the first stanza; Barbauld indicates that the poem focuses on the struggles wives face during washing day with the lines “Come, Muse, and sing the dreaded washing day/ Ye who beneath…show more content…
In the same manner as the rain, the husbands are portrayed as major inconveniences worsening an already miserable day. The narrator describes the women 's apprehension of their husbands coming with more demands such as sewing their stockings to accomplish this (Barbauld 33-40). With these descriptions, Barbauld paints the men as one of the causes of the wives’ sadness. In the later stanzas of the poem, the narrator switches to her own perspective as a child watching the women go through the motions of washing day. Her naivety and ignorance strengthen Barbauld 's emotional appeal by providing a contrast to earlier descriptions of the wives’ view, but this perspective’s odd similarity to the men 's own makes the strongest impact on the reader. As the women worked, the narrator sought affection and food as she would on any other day; she didn 't understand why her mother and the other women brushed her aside in favor of working (Barbauld 58-65). Since she was a child, to her, the day was the same as any other. As she listened to her mother urge haste in the chores, she wondered as to the purpose of washing day (Barbauld 74-79). The ending lines capture the purpose of these stanzas: "The sports of children and the toils of men/ Earth, air, and sky, and ocean, hath its bubbles/ And verse is one of them — this most of all" (Barbauld 84-86). Per these lines, everything from the works of men to the play of children seems to have value, but the labor of women doesn’t in the
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