The Covered Wagon By Kenneth Holmes Essay

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Throughout history, men and women experienced life changing situations that impacted their lives in many different ways. The roles of both genders in society show the narrow thread of their gender specific roles and social standards. The customs of masculinity and femininity in the eastern part of the U.S, contributed tremendously to the roles men and women played in the Overland Trial. However, the development of the west showed the orthodox practices of American cultural and the way in which many American identified themselves. The novel by Kenneth Holmes called “The covered wagon”, illustrates the lives of the women who traveled the west in covered wagons during the 19th century through their letters and diaries. Women like Tamsen Donner as well as Virginia Reed, members of the donner party. In addition, there are letters and diaries from a Mormon midwife who delivered five babies on the trail and Rachel Fisher, who had to bury her husband and daughter before getting to Oregon. Through the text of Holmes, current historians are able to visualize the different places and details revolving around the trail, crafting scenarios that are both devastating and heart-warming to its audience. Holmes focused primarily in the roles of women in the expansion to the west and how the absence of women history shows the physical barrier crafted by gender roles.

During the 1840’s, the roles of men and women to their communities became defined by the social and economic changes around
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