Underutilized female human capital conveyed through gender issues and abolitionist movement in The Invention of Wings

Gender Issues: The Invention of Wings

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Jun 2, 2014    •    1303 Views

Our Monday gender issues focus

Combine 1 great read, 2 crucial issues and 3 memorable women (2 who really existed) and you get The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Through a lens that focuses on slavery and women’s rights, The Invention of Wings is about female empowerment. I thought the book was excellent.

Historically, The Invention of Wings conveys the story of the Grimké sisters. Born to life on a South Carolina plantation, we first see them opposing slavery at home. When, at 11 years old, Sarah Grimké was given a slave, Hetty, she tries to refuse and violates the law by secretly teaching her to read. Then, hoping at first to become an attorney and later a minister, Sarah has to steer her life in a different direction. In the book, as Sarah’s story unfolds, so too does Hetty’s fictitious–but very real–life.

Gender Issues Suffrage History

From: Illus. in: Puck, v. 81, no. 2093 (1917 April 14), p. 21.

Our bottom line: Through gender issues and the abolitionist movement, The Invention of Wings masterfully conveys how women’s human capital was underutilized for centuries in the United States.

If you have read The Invention of Wings, I hope you will share your thoughts about the book in a comment.

Sources and more...Here and here are reviews of The Invention of Wings. While the Grimké bio articles i have found are rather dry--like this one--I hope to recommend a biography in the future. For more cartoons, I suggest the Library of Congress.

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