Female Independence in Catharine Maria Sedgewick's Hope Leslie and Kelly Clarkson's Song Miss Independent

1301 WordsJun 20, 20186 Pages
Female Independence in Catharine Maria Sedgewick's Hope Leslie and Kelly Clarkson's Song "Miss Independent" Authors have addressed the topic of female independence in various literary styles, including novels, novellas, and poetry. In our society today, independence for women is one of the main topics of many songs. The concept of female independence has changed over the years; people have gone from frowning upon female independence to celebrating it. Both Catharine Maria Sedgewick and pop singer Kelly Clarkson address female behavior that now, in the 21st century, is typical for many women. In Sedgewick’s Hope Leslie, the title character portrays a young woman that defies her society’s repressive Puritanical standards; she portrays…show more content…
In today’s society, we tend to show more respect to women who exhibit the characteristics that, during the 17th century, were uncommon and slightly frowned upon. A woman that shows independence, assertiveness, and courage receives more respect than a woman who portrays dependency, shyness, and cowardice. The women that portray independence and assertiveness typically hold a higher position of power than women that do not show those characteristics; they are considered emotionally stronger, smarter, and more successful. Kelly Clarkson’s 2003 hit single “Miss Independent” emphasizes the qualities that we expect women of our society today to exhibit, and amply describes Hope Leslie’s aberrant behavior. Clarkson describes the character of her song as “Miss independent/Miss self-sufficient” (0:13). The typical expectation for women today is that they pursue what they want and that they can do it on their own without help, or very little, from others. Although not completely frowned upon, women who show dependency upon others receive less regard. The first two verses of the song depict Hope’s best qualities; she shows both independence and self-sufficiency. The succeeding verses also adequately describe Hope – “Miss unafraid/Miss out of my way” (0:23). Clarkson uses those two verses to represent the courage and determination of the song’s character. Sedgewick portrays Hope as a courageous and determined woman by her

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