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

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What hints are there in “Respuesta a Sor Filotea” that indicate that Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is responding to some criticism?

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In “Respuesta a Sor Filotea” by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, there are quite a few references that show that she was responding to criticism when she wrote it.

In one case, Sor Juana humbles herself by stating that she is not a learned person (untrue), and declares that she does not want to get in trouble with the Church:

What understanding do I possess, what studies, what subject matter, or what instruction...? They can leave such things to those who understand them; as for me, I want no trouble with the Holy Office, for I am but ignorant and tremble lest I utter some ill-sounding proposition or twist the true meaning of some passage.

Sor Juana explains that she has received many "reprimands," that God has given her the gift of intelligence, and that she has prayed that God would diminish her "intellect" so that she can better do God's work—and only God's work. This indicates to me that all she has and is struggling to confine what she does—defending that God has given her a need...

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