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

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Why did Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz write her reply to the Bishop of Puebla?

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Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz's letter to the Bishop of Puebla was a response to his own pseudonymous letter criticizing her for her attention to and concern of earthly matters and quest for knowledge. This was considered very unbecoming for a woman at the time. Sor Juana's letter is a defense of a woman's right to education and the pursuit of learning. She uses her letter to showcase her intelligence in an age and place where women were considered less intelligent and capable of knowledge than men. She even provides a framework of how a woman can properly learn so as to improve society as a whole.

Cleverly, she opens her letter by stating that she is not as smart as others...

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