Susan B. Anthony Critical Essays

Iris Noble


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Noble has written a biography of someone who was hated, feared, loved, admired, and respected in her own lifetime. Many modern readers, however, know little about who she was or the significant nature of her contributions to the women’s rights movement in the United States. The author thus seeks to educate young people by detailing Anthony’s political influence and her life as a public figure. Instead of producing a dry history text, however, Noble has fashioned her subject’s story into an easy-to-read and enjoyable narrative. Thus, Susan B. Anthony can be read for its informative sociological sketch or simply for pleasure.

Noble brings Anthony to life for the young adult reader, presenting her as a very determined individual who spoke her mind. The author writes that Anthony was “disgusted with those women who like being considered dear, silly, little things and having doors opened for them by gallant men, and being treated like dolls instead of human beings.” Despite such occasional interpretation, Noble presents a fairly objective account that emphasizes the facts of her subject’s life, and the amount of research that she performed in preparing this book is evident.

The biography also shows how Anthony was willing to go to great lengths to further her cause. For example, the author chronicles the repercussions of Anthony’s protest in Rochester, New York. She caused a disturbance when she and sixteen other women...

(The entire section is 574 words.)