scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 2,730
Hannah Webster Fosters second and final novel The Boarding Schoolor Lessons of a Preceptress to Her Pupils has not received muchscholarly attention - nor will it probably ever merit such - yet itstill defies unanimous critical interpretation Most scholars considerFosters novel to at best promote female education and friendshipwithin the patriarchal confines of her day however if considered moreas a work of fiction The Boarding School can be interpreted as amicrocosmic vignette of the many types of women being promoted in thepost-revolutionary republic What is known is that Foster mothered six children wrote two novelsThe Coquette and The Boarding School contributed regularly to theMassachusetts Magazine and survived her minister husband by fifty-oneyears Two of her daughters even became writers themselves which mightattest to her abilities as the preceptress or mother figure shepresents in The Boarding School With such limited knowledge ofFosters life it is challenging to interpret her novel past the text andthe facts that her history and American history provide Yet I believethat in light of the dramatic changes occurring in post-revolutionaryAmerica there is something untapped by her critics There is no contemporary debate concerning the presence of a liberalminded feminine community in The Boarding School however it is not verycompelling or revolutionary Between Judith Sargent Murrays essay OnThe Equality of the Sexes and Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of theRights of Women the subject of womans position in independent Americahad already been challenged and in an explicit form At best then TheBoarding School can be seen at best as a thinly veiled attempt atexploring what a liberal female educational system might look like Thepurpose of this essay is therefore to go beyond the more literal readingof The Boarding School that scholars have used and to treat it more asfiction In this light I believe there is significant evidence that TheBoarding Schools ambiguous utility might be intentional and that ineither case this ambiguity can be connected to both the major shift inWestern education
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA