Laurel Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale
Before I watched 'A Midwife's Tale', a movie created from the diary found by Laurel Ulrich chronicling the life of a woman named Martha Ballard, I thought the women in these times were just housewives and nothing else. I pictured them doing the cleaning and the cooking for their husbands and not being very smart because of the lack of education or them being unable to work. My view on the subject changed however when I watched this specific woman's life and her work.
To know that there was a woman such as Martha back in those days is very interesting to me because I especially did not think there were women who were as brave and independent as she was. The lives of women in general, not …show more content…
What I thought was weird is, in the movie, Martha asks the mother in labor who the father of the baby is and that?s how they did paternity tests which seems so strange but it was the only way at the time, I guess. She probably wasn?t happy when the spinster girl that worked at her house, in the movie, said her son?s name during that crucial moment. After a hard day like this she got to go home and clean her house and cook food, I can just imagine how fun this was.
The incident in the movie when I found out that the minister?s wife was pregnant by one of the men who gang raped her amazed me because I didn?t know things like that happened back then. And it was sad because she couldn?t really do anything about it because of the fact, like I said before, the cards stacked in the men?s favor. Also, she was not able to prove the father of the baby even though she thought it was North, there was still no way to make sure of it. This is another thing that confirms that the women of this time were strong people, especially all the other women who had to go through things like she had to. Martha Ballard also had endure a lot of hard times as she got older. She couldn?t do the things she used to be able to do when she was younger and probably more healthier. When her husband was put in jail for not collecting
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This generation of women, may it be young or old, are fortunate to live in a country where you can be anything, do anything, and say anything that men can. Although in theory the playing fields are still not completely even, we as a nation have made some substantial progress in women’s rights. Just a few hundred years ago, women livered mundane lives and rarely got to speak up for themselves. In the book, The Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, it follows the life of Martha Ballard through the use of her own diary. Martha Ballard captures the lives of common women in the Early Republic Era by providing an authentic record of the role women played in their communities throughout the developmental years of the United States.
Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich provides a glimpse of America post Revolutionary war through her critically acclaimed book, A Midwife’s Tale, which is the interpretation of Martha Ballard’s seemingly humble diary—a record of her life as a midwife, mother, wife, and caregiver from 1785 through 1812. The book features Ballard’s account of her average day’s activities, which, in turn, serves to represent the tasks of women in her society; however, Ulrich cross-references the diary with documents such as court transcripts, land records, maps, and other diaries in order to piece together a more detailed account than one gathered solely from Ballard’s words. While popular belief envisions women in this timeframe as being constrained to the home and a litter of children, it is Ballard’s diary that reveals that women played a major role in other aspects of society, including the market economy, medicine and childbirth, versus just being mothers and homemakers.
A Midwife’s Tale is a book written by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. The book itself is publishing and presenting the daily diary entries of Martha Ballard in an organized and professional way so that it could be published as a book. The diary entries begin in 1785 when Martha Ballard was already 50, and continue up until a few weeks before her death May 7, 1812.
The stereotyping of women is quite common in today 's society and throughout history. In the past, women have taken the full time job of being a mother and a housewife. The 1930s initially started the ideal image of a woman. A woman was often represented as a maid-like being who would serve to their husband and children. In Richard Alleyne’s article, “Advice for women in the 1930s: Nothing Destroys the Happiness of Married Life More than the Lazy, Slovenly Wife,” he discusses the frequent expectations of a housewife. Common assumptions included; “Don’t argue with your husband; do whatever he tells you and obey all his orders” (1) and “Nothing destroys the happiness of married life more than the lazy, slovenly wife” (1). These rules have often been published into past newspapers that were
While social change has brought on more changes than what women are a custom too, at one point in history women actually felt a form of importance in fulfilling their roles not only in the home; but outside as well. “These demographic shifts account for many new or altered roles, such as increased number of duel-earner families, later and fewer marriages, fewer children, increased life expectancy, and the massive migration shifting employees across a nation and across the globe” (Lindsey, 2011, pg. 275).
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, it became one of his greatest legacies. In the first line he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" (U.S. Constitution, paragraph 2). Jefferson wrote these words to give inspiration to future generations in the hopes that they would be able to change what he either would or could not. The word “men” in the Declaration in the early 1700 and 1800’s meant exactly that, but even then it only was true for some men, not all. Women, children, and other segments of the population such as slaves and Native Americans were clearly not included. Jefferson himself was a slave owner and held the belief that women were
In Mrs Midas, Carol Ann Duffy takes the well-known story of King Midas from Ancient Greek mythology and places it in a modern context from the wife’s perspective. Originally, the story is about King Midas and the power he possesses that turns everything he touches into gold, which leads him to ultimately realise that wealth alone can’t make him happy - even unlimited gold. The moral of the King Midas story is that you can’t buy happiness, and also to be careful what you wish for as greed is sure to overcome you.
This story showed me that God is with us even when there is no hope. Mary Rowlandson showed an incredible trust in God through the worst time in her life. That teaches me that I need to trust God with the little things that bother me because He can handle even the worst of situations. I liked this story because she goes into detail about her encounter instead of just skimming over the events. It is a look into the very beginning of our history, and how things were for the settlers, and I think it is important to learn about how our nation came to
One fact I found interesting about Catherine Blankley is that despite the fact that slavery was going on she was a midwife to over 3,000 childbirth deliveries of any color. Catherine was buried at a cemetery that was once used as a hospital during two wars as it states in her biography. Edith Cumbo seemed to be remarkable women as I learned she is one of the few free blacks that lived in Williamsburg. She is very fortunate to be the daughter of a free woman. Under a Virginia law that resulted in her also being free as well. She is a talented, smart and independent woman who found her own work with also being the head of her household. George Washington was one of the most famous presidents as he was America's first. Throughout the years of learning history, George Washington has always been so intriguing. A new fact I have learned about Washington is that
Laurel Ulrich's Midwife Tale did a good job interpreting and using Martha Ballard's diary to provide a descriptive and impartial account of the 18th century period in women's history, with particular insight into colonial attitudes towards rape.
Call the Midwife fills that need we have to see how poor people live and also serve them. These midwifes spend their time serving members of the community no matter the problems that arise and we don’t often recognize that effort. These women as we talked about in class also often don’t have people supporting them and they are taken advantage of, so seeing them be cared for in such a supportive way is amazing. The emotional bond that the show thrives on is vital because people don’t always make connections with facts and tables but hearing stories of a young girl in a workhouse or having to give up their child because they were unwed and forced into prostitution, makes it real. I started watching the show a couple years ago and while it may not be the perfect solution to learning about this time and place compared to history texts and the like because it is a TV drama after all. But seeing the people interacting or even learning about how a woman’s body works during pregnancy and childbirth is so important. So many things they do in the show or in Jennifer Worth’s books have never occurred to be before I started watching and reading because poverty and pregnancy isn’t really talked about. We haven’t escaped that woman’s world being separate from the rest of the work and seeing how these people and especially women lived is important.
Around this time, women started to take on other roles outside the typical traditional role of housewife. Women were going to college, obtaining their degrees, and starting their
In the world of migrant workers in 1930s America, the main roles of women was to help and serve men, and were mostly regarded as either domestic housewives, or highly sexualized objects to be used and discarded. Women were traditionally and commonly thought of as the homemakers that took care of the home and children in this time.
Hearing the word midwife leaves many people thinking of unprofessional, inexperienced women who help deliver babies naturally, without the help of medication. In truth, nurse-midwives are registered nurses who have attended additional schooling for women’s health and are taught to make women feel as comfortable as possible. In the beginning, remedies were the females’ legacies, their “birthright”; these females were known as “wise-women by the people, witches of charlatans by authorities”. (Ehrenreich, 1973). “Females were wanderers, traveling from one place to another, healing the sick and wounded.” (Ehrenreich 1973). These women were among the first human healers and they were especially helpful when it came to childbearing. The midwives
Being a mother is one of the best gifts from a life. A mother gives her children unconditional love without expecting anything in return. Being a mother means more than having given birth to a child. It is an invisible connection between mother and child; it is a blessing, a relationship that never ends and the love that never dies. However, for some women, motherhood might be challenging in ways they did not expect, forcing them to choose between having an abortion and keeping the child. The debate over abortion is an ardent and polarizing issue as there are those who believe that all humans including those unborn should have a right to life, and on the other side of the spectrum are those who believe it should a woman's right to choose whether she wants an abortion or not. This topic relates to Gwendolyn Brooks's poem, "The Mother", where the author describes the painful thoughts, heartbreak, and awful feelings that a woman experiences after having an abortion. Brooks lays out a helpful framework for understanding the difficult situation of facing unplanned pregnancy. In "The Mother", a woman recollects her inner conflicts as she laments over the guilt of having had an abortion and the future she never gave her would be child. Brooks's poem provides insight into the research which reveals how abortion affects women morally, psychologically, and religiously.