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4.18.3: Reading and Review Questions

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    1. What refinements does Fanny Fern suggest are acquired through being brought up in women’s company? Consider her description of the imagined male critic’s boarding-house room.
    2. How does Fanny Fern measure a book’s success, regardless of the author’s gender? What are the elements of a successful book to which she draws attention, and why?
    3. What does the opening of “Hints to Young Wives” suggest are women’s domestic responsibilities in this era? What does the opening’s tone suggest about Fanny Fern’s attitude towards these expected responsibilities?
    4. What does Fanny Fern suggest are men’s attitudes towards women, especially in their described reactions to a woman’s complete devotion? What does she imply are women’s attitudes towards themselves in this complete devotion?
    5. How does Fanny Fern expose the consequences of women marrying into their only means of support? How does she suggest women themselves respond to their economic realities in such marriages? Why, and to what effect?

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