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Why do you think the mental states of women, post civil war played such an important role in the works of female authors of this time period?

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Great question.  There are a few dozen ways to approach this issue, so let me come at it from a slightly different angle than the above post.  When we speak of "mental states" collectively in this way, we have to look at what conditions or events could affect women in such a massive general way, or literature in such a profound one.

The war broke people mentally, and often permanently.  Women who had lost loved ones, friends, or had witnessed the carnage as nurses or residents, or had lost their own homes and possessions to the war, or even suffered in the privations that followed the conflict took these tragedies into their mental states for the rest of their lives, and this is reflected in the literature of women in the second half of the 19th century.  The...

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write16,848 answers

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