Judith Sargent Murray in American Literature
Judith Sargent Murray was an American advocate for women’ rights. He was also a poet, play writer, letter writer and essay writer. She had died at the age of 69 in 1820. She was an American proponent who gave equality ideas without any sex’s difference that like men, women had the capability of an intellectual accomplishment to achieve economic independence. She worked in American literature, “On the Equality of the Sexes” was her essay that paved ways for the new ideas and thoughts proposed by some other feminist authors. Therefore, the major purpose of this paper is to focus on Murrays’ literary works, while observing Murray’s feminist point of view, especially, as part of this short analysis of Murray in American literature.
Murray did struggle to create and define American Literature. The students examine her subject choice in her essays and play “The Contrast.” She also wrote a novel named “The Story of Margaretta.” Her novel continues Murray’s exploration of education and the role of women in the new nation. She was engaged in subscribing and reevaluating the history to belief on the progressive history. Murray planned to usher in “New Era in Female History” by her commitment to women for their better education.
Murray married a captain of ship John Stevens. She tried publishing in 1784 under a pseudonym for ending their financial misery for no avail. After her first husband death, she married John Murray. She believed that to make the children of the nation strong and educated; their mothers should have to be educated. Her essays also challenged the winning notions that the brain of a female was inherently less and she argued that females were suppressed not because of physical limitations but because of the lack of education access. She also educated her daughter.
A successful literary also work in her essay “Gleaner” series. Many of other copied her style and personality because students like Murray’s essays and poetry and find stylistically constrained. Primarily Murray was interested in making some new content for the American literature and not in establishing some new forms of literacy. Her work was original and printed in many journals. She had a diverse audience of readers who adhere to her Federalist agenda and liberals that were much interested in the issues of women. A wide audience brings with beliefs on finding the appeal to the male and female readers. (Fowler, 2011)
Murray’s believed to be a first woman who had published regular essays with series. She had used male identity and fictitious names while writing. She was also the first woman of America who played her plays professionally. She was a leading member of Church University in America, and she spread social and religious ideas by using her position in United States University.
In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was officially signed by ending the American Revolution. Murray has continued in writing even throughout the war, and she tried to contribute her discussions surrounding by events. She knew the fact that the name could voice her own opinion in public and she wanted to bring some money to support her family. By using “Constantia” name, she just published “Desultory Thoughts upon the Utility of Encouraging a Degree of Complacency in the Female Bosom.” This essay argued on girls advance education. Murray linked the women with self-respect that would only be received from the education with economic independence and achievements which follow frequently. It was also published in magazines in 1784.
After Murray’s first child was born, she eventually started writing and bring some contribution to the poetry that was published in Massachusetts Magazine. She includes the topics on cultural, religious and political issues. (Scobell, 2000)
Her essay “The Gleaner” was the popular series at that period and published in all magazines. In 1795, Murray had her first play and appeared on Boston stage. She also attempts as Playwright the African that was performed in 1808 at Federal Street Theater. She also published some poems in the Boston periodicals with pen names Honora and Honora-Martesia. (Hughes, 2011)
Murray also recruited about 800 presales of subscribers with endorsements to form Vice President and President Washington. After her husband John Murray’s death, she published his autobiography after completing it. Murray moved to her daughter in 1816 and lived with her granddaughter. In 1820 he died, but her name was written in the American literary histories.
Judith Sargent Murray has a lot of contribution to intellectual history. She was a famous author in the 18th century in the United States. She contributed her writing talent in many novels, poetry, playwright and essayist. In her life, she had done a lot of effort to improve the American literature, and she was one of those who was first started to write for the women’s right and their education. She stepped toward the public to bring change. Her writings were always supported and appreciated by students.
Fowler, R. A. (2011). A Study of the Early American Author Judith Sargent Murray, Her Role in Early American Print Culture and Her Misappropriation by Twentieth Century Feminism. Master’s Theses.
Hughes, M. (2011). An Enlightened Woman: Judith Sargent Murray and the Call to Equality. Undergraduate Review, 7(21), 110-114.
Scobell, S. (2000). Judith Sargent Murray: The “So-Called” Feminist. Constructing the Past, 1(1).