Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Questions and Answers
by Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana

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Sor Juana was a complex figure: a woman of patriachal society, a court favorite, a nun who once fired her confessor. Find passages from Sor Juana's work that help explain or illuminate her cultural power. What do these passages suggest about the woman, her world, and her enduring legacy?

When looking for passages that display Sor Juana's cultural power, you don't need to look much farther than her poem "Hombres Necios que Acusais" or "You Foolish Men". This poem shows her independent spirit and her determination to enact change. She was adamant about being treated as equal and allowed an education.

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Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was a writer, poet, composer, philosopher, and nun. She was born in Mexico in 1651 and was among the first great Mexican writers.

During the time of Sor Juana's prominence, women were discouraged from pursuing an education and speaking up for themselves. Sor Juana was not willing to conform, instead pointing out the double-standards and impossible social norms women were expected to follow. Here's a great quote from her poem "You Foolish Men":

No woman wins esteem of you:
the most modest is ungrateful
if she refuses to admit you;
yet if she does, she's loose.

In the same poem she writes:

your censure is unfair;

as she had to constantly fight to make her voice heard. She also demonstrates her...

(The entire section contains 392 words.)

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