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American Literature Essay

Fenny Fern, pseudonym of Sara Willis Parton, was the first woman columnist, a popular novelist and author of children’s stories. She was the most highly paid newspaper writer of that period. She used to write on such topics, which a woman at that time would not dare to talk about in public. Fenny wrote on economic independence of women, prostitution, birth control, children’s rights etc. Fenny was deeply affected by the injustice women had to face both at home and workplace and hence she raised those issues in her newspaper columns.

She even used to suggest the right ways and wrestled or equal right, equal pay for women too. ‘The working girls of New York’ is just one step towards what seemed to be her target. Here she dealt with the problems that working women faced at that time including the problems at workplace and also the inequality of wages. Rebecca Harding Davis was a journalist who raised social issues and is considered the pioneer of realistic fiction in American literature. She achieved fame from her novel, ‘Life in the Iron Mills’. Davis used to write for a change in social status of blacks, women, immigrants and the working class.

She concentrated on the issues related to omen and portrayed the powerlessness of the working class in breaking the chains of industrial capitalism. According to Jean Pfaelzer, ‘Life in the Iron Mills’ must be considered a central text in the origins of American realism, American proletarian literature, and American feminism. Both Fenny and Davis fought for social injustice with the help of their writing skills. Their medium of war was print and instrument was pen with which they used to fight for the prevailing social injustice. They raised issues of the downtrodden and the working class that had to suffer various problems at that time.


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