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The Argument In Reply To Sor Filotea De La Cruz Essay

  • Submitted by: towens03
  • on March 24, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 905 words

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Below is an essay on "The Argument In Reply To Sor Filotea De La Cruz" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Sor Juana’s argument in Reply to Sor Filotea De La Cruz
Equal rights for women did not exist in seventeenth century Mexico.   Women either devoted their lives to raising their families and keeping their homes, or they instead gave their life to God and became nuns.   Up until the Age of Enlightenment, the period from roughly 1660 to 1770 when thinking, reason, and the power of the mind prevailed, the thought of an educated woman had no appeal to the Mexican masses.   Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Mexican nun and self-taught scholar and poet who wrote literature centered on freedom and women’s rights, was a woman from this era that was criticized for devoting her time to studying subjects outside of theology.   In response to her critics, de la Cruz wrote a letter entitled Respuesta a Sor Filotea (Reply to Sister Filotea), in which she demonstrated not only the depth of her intelligence, but also her humility and her subordination to God which was under dispute.   Indeed, the nun eloquently succeeded in her autobiographical response to defend her own and more importantly,   the intellectual rights of those sharing her sex in a manner that proved to be more “far-reaching and profound than any previously offered” (“Sor Juana” 208).  
The letter begins with de la Cruz graciously thanking Sor Filotea, the pseudonym used by the Bishop Fernandez de Santa Cruz, for “a favor as unexpected as extreme, for having [her] scribbling printed…” (de la Cruz 210).   Interestingly, the manner in which the nun addresses her superior carries a tone of masked sarcasm as seen when she addresses the Bishop as “My most illustrious senora, dear lady” (209), and when she emphatically states, “…it is only with the confidence of one who is favored and with the protection of one who is honorable that I presume to address your magnificence…” (211).   Although she first scornfully proclaims that there is “nothing [she could] say that is worthy of [the Bishop]” (210), the swift Sor Juana concludes...

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