SorJuana as a Woman and her Role in the Society
Thenational standards describe one goal of science education asdeveloping scientific inquiry. Scientific research denotes to thevaried ways in which scientists study the ordinary globe and suggestdescriptions founded on the proof derived from their work. We wantour children to wonder about the world, examine the world, anddevelop ways of understanding the world. Sor Juana, 17th-centuryMexican nun, is a role model for our generation, and her life canbuild their interest in scientific inquiry.
SorJuana was born in San Miguel Nepantla, Mexico, on November 12, 1651.Juana was a 17th-centurynun, self-taught scholar and acclaimed writer of the Latin Americancolonial period and the Hispanic Baroque. At that time, she was knownto a staunch advocate for the women’s rights. Her life as a nunbegun in 1667. After taking vows, she read tirelessly and wrotepoetry and plays. Often, she challenged she challenged societalvalues and becoming an earlier fighter of the women’s rights. Sheis renowned for her “Respuesta a Sor Filotea”, which protectswomen’s right to educational access and is she is also credited asthe first published feminist of the new world. Juana died in 1695 inMexico (Paz & Octavio, Traps of Faith).
Currently,Sor Juana is a national icon of identity in Mexico. This is evidentwith the appearance of her image on the Mexican currency.
Overtime, Juana has been considered as one of the gifted writers of theSpanish Baroque Age. She is also has a fascinating personality. Juanareemerges after some decades in the shadow of forgetfulness as anencyclopedic and multidisciplinary intellectual who lived a lifewithin a shadow of her convent (Paz & Octavio, Traps of Faith).
Littleis known about her childhood, and all the details related to herwriting. Typically in the response of the Bishop of Respuesta. In herdescription, she portraits herself as a solitary and very curious kidwho was attracted to knowledge at a very young age. At the age ofthree, she made an attempt read and write and took a step forward toconvince her mother to let her go to school dressed as a man. Sinceonly males were permitted to go to school. Her mother refused, andshe started reading on her own in her grandfather’s library. Thebooks opened the doors for knowledge that she so ardently desired(Paz & Octavio, Lastramps de la Fe.)
Latershe moves to Mexico City, where she takes another step and learnsLatin. Her intelligence is tested, and men are amazed at howintelligent the young girl is. This way, Juana plays a vital part tobring some gender equality in the field of education. Later girls areallowed to go to school because of the personality of Juana (Paz &Octavio, Traps of Faith).
Duringcolonial Mexico, becoming a nun was one of the few choices for awoman whose ultimate desire a love for learning. Her Choice provedfavorable for many years because women were not allowed to joinuniversity.
SorJuana was alive in a time where scientific knowledge was squelched byreligious customs and long-held falsities. In case she were a man inthe current generation, or if she had existed in a time and placewhere females were given equal privileges to schooling and careers,Juana would most likely be a scientist. This is evident from the wayhe spent much of her time learning science through investigatingnatural phenomena.
On17 April, 1695 Sor Juana died of the plague while caring for herlittle sister. This makes an implication of the love she had for thefamily despite the activities she was participating in. She had noteven enjoyed the fruits of her fight yet.
Thepersonality of Sor Juana has helped in shaping the role of women inthe current generation. The curiosity she had helped the majority torealize that women are also intellectual and that they can help inshaping the current world.
Thesecular poems that Sor Juana composes to her acquaintances and herwell-being, attracts the wrath of the church. Especially the threemen that played the most important role in the life of Juana. Shortlyafter 1680, Juana wrote a letter to Nunez de Miranda in which shetries to break with him as her confessor. Apparently, Miranda found aprofound contradiction in Juana’s situation as a nun (expected toponder religious issues) and her secular intellectual pursuits(Pfandl& Ludwig, SorJuana Inés de la Cruz.vol. 2).
Juana’spoetry has experienced many problems from the top bishops due to thecontradiction of her position as a nun and the type of secular workshe does. The only hope she had in her poetry was the substantialprotection from the Viceroy and the Vicereine. However, in 1688, theVicereine and Viceroy were called back to Spain, so Juana’sposition was already precarious. She then wrote the famous Responseto Sor Filotea de la Cruz in 1691. It represents a response to thebishop of Puebla (Ada Limon, TheImmortality of Sound & Fury).
Herpoetry is also symbolic in that the kind of writing she did was areflection of the actions that were trending during that time. Shewas not at peace with most of the things happening around her, so shewas trying to fight back by way of writing.
SorJuana is best known as a major Baroque literary figure of Mexico.According to Mary Morkovsky, Sor Juana’s logical poetry, (Sueno)shows an articulated world view, and her assessment of the Jesuitsermon reveals her mastery of logic. In addition, Mary Astell wroteher argument for the education of women, in Mexico, Sor Juana wasfervently shielding a woman’s right to learning and intellectualexpertise.
Herrole as an intellectual woman
SorJuana was truly remarkable due to his character. While women duringthe colonial Mexico were officially prevented from obtaining publicrecognition for their intellectual knowledge, Sor Juana’s intellectwas well-known due to her prolific writing (Paz & Octavio, Trapsof Faith).
Sheplayed a crucial role in turning the tables in Mexico concerning thepowers allocated to women. Women were not recognized in the wholenation. Juana, by use of her intellectual skills in writing, wrotepoems and arts that fought for the equality of both genders. For aperiod of twenty-six years, she wrote for the court and the church.She wrote 65 sonnets, 62 romances, numerous metrical forms employedduring el Siglo de Oro, three sacramental autos, two comedies, 32loas and many others. In all these writings, the core message is thatshe is seeking equality and representation of the females in thenation. Now, she is referred to as the intellectual mother of Mexico(Paz & Octavio, Traps of Faith).
Sincewomen were not allowed to attend university, the solitude of thenunnery and the political support she enjoyed from the Viceroy andVicereine gave her an opportunity to dedicate to the mission ofbuilding her intellectual welfares. In this chance, and withpolitical defense, Sor Juana discovered her smartness through herwritings including the themes of court experience, mythology,religion, nature, and women’s rights. Here he played a role to helpthe women understand their rights better and make them more learned(Morkovsky& Mary Christine, 1991).
Shealso played a significant role in breaking the religious barriers toscience. Science during that time was closely linked to superstition,religion, and he Catholic Church. During that time, it was thoughtthat women were not smart enough to go to college. The genderdiscrimination was one critical factor that made her read heard andshow that women were also intelligent (Morkovsky& Mary Christine, 1991).
TheViceroy’s wife gave Juana companionship and, above all, politicaldefense so that Sor Juana could change nunnery life into a space ofintelligent development. She experienced many barriers on her waythat strengthened her. Today Sor Juana’s writings are frequentlyread by all countries in the world speaking Spanish. Mexico creditsher by naming schools after her and putting her face on its currency(Flynn& Gerard, SorJuana Inés de la Cruz.vol. 144).
SorJuana is a role model of Latina’s charities to the sphere, and sheopens our eyes to knowing the reason more women were not recognizedin the science history. It is the high time the world should learnthis woman of inquiry. All the success discussed about Juana isbecause of her curiosity and courage.
AdaLimon. SorJuana Inés de la Cruz: TheImmortality of Sound & Fury
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Morkovsky,Mary Christine. "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz" AHistory of Women Philosophers: Modern Women Philosohers, MaryEllen Waithe. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991.
Paz,Octavio. SorJuana Inés de la Cruz, o, Las tramps de la Fe.Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1982.
Paz,Octavio. SorJuana, or, the traps of faith.Harvard University Press, 1988.
Pfandl,Ludwig. SorJuana Inés de la Cruz.Vol. 2. Universidad nacional autónoma de México Instituto deinvestigaciones estéticas, 1963.