A New England Nun Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A New England Nun.
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Religion and Economics

Mary Wilkins Freeman wrote most of her bestknown short stories in the 1880s and 1890s. They provide a unique snapshot of a particular time and place in American history. The small towns of post- Civil War New England were often desolate places. The war itself, combined with urbanization, industrialization, and westward expansion, had taken most of the young able-bodied men out of the region. The remaining population was largely female and elderly. Women like Louisa Ellis, who waited many years for husbands, brothers, fathers and boyfriends to return from the West or other places they had gone to seek jobs, were not uncommon. The area was suffering from economic depression and many were forced to leave to support themselves and their families. There were many widows from the war, too, often living hand-tomouth and trying to keep up appearances. Also common were the New England...

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This section contains 698 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A New England Nun Study Guide
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A New England Nun from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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