The Behavior Book and The American Woman’s Home

An important way to increase your understanding of a text is understand its historical and discursive contexts. By historical contexts, I mean answers to questions like what sorts of events were taking place around the time the text was being written? What were the concerns, anxieties, and joys of the culture at that moment in its history? By discursive contexts, I mean what others sorts of texts were being written? How were similar themes addressed? Answering these questions can be easier with a “peer text.” There are, for example, several texts written at about the same time as The Coquette in The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Here is a link to PDF excerpts from two more, The Behavior Book and The American Woman’s Home.

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