The Portrayal of Mormonism Criticism: Women Writers - Essay

Maureen Ursenbach Beecher (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Poetry and the Private Lives: Newspaper Verse on the Mormon Frontier,” in Brigham Young University Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3, Summer, 1985, pp. 55-65.

[In the following essay, Beecher reflects on the women who contributed poetry to the Woman's Exponent newspaper, arguing that part of their motivation to write stemmed from their intense need to express their feelings of self-identity and self-worth.]

A handful of verses eventually led to the founding in 1872 of the Woman's Exponent and the choosing of Louisa Lula Greene as its first editor. A student in the first class of the University of Utah, the twenty-year-old northern Utah girl needed...

(The entire section is 4608 words.)

Paula Kelly Harline (essay date 1993)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Polygamous yet Monogamous: Cultural Conflict in the Writings of Mormon Polygamous Wives,” in Old West—New West: Centennial Essays, edited by Barbara Howard Meldrum, University of Idaho Press, 1993, pp. 115-32.

[In the following essay, Harline uses private writings included in the diaries and autobiographies of Mormon women to show how these polygamous wives were torn between their faith in the mandates of God and their emotional struggles with the realities of day-to-day life.]

In response to the federal government's efforts to abolish polygamy in 1870, five thousand Mormon women held a “mass indignation meeting” in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, where...

(The entire section is 5851 words.)