The Midwife 's Tale By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

1255 Words6 Pages
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. Some back…show more content…
This is what makes Mrs. Ballard’s diary so important. Her journal demonstrates how she chose an occupation that gives her complete authority over her own actions and career choices, which was rare in the Early Republic Era. Her being a midwife let her dictate the jobs that she did and did not accept. Martha gets the honor of showing the world that women of her time did all they could to be as independent as possible. In The Midwife’s Tale, Laurel Ulrich explains, “She gardened, sewed, cared for her grandchildren, nursed the sick, laid out the dead, and delivered babies” (276). She was a woman of many talents. Martha lived by a value that she expects the same respect in return and undertakes full authority over the responsibilities she considers to be her own. An important quote that gives the newer generation an idea of the common women at this time is from the March 1804 chapter. Historian Laurel Ulrich quotes, “The mixing of governours in a household, or subordinating or uniting of two masters, or two dames under one roof, doth fall out most times, to be a matter of much unquietness to all parties” (281). This is a quote from 1624, an early English essay on marriage. This quote is in regards to the clear annoyance Martha journaled about in her March entries regarding her husband. Martha feels she alone should get the right to manage all the female workers who enter their
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