Jewish American Women's Autobiography: Mary Antin to Golda Meir

Date
2016
Authors
Zuniga, Carina
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Worldwide access
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Abstract

Throughout the twentieth century, the United States experienced vast changes such as large-scale immigration, world wars, and civil rights movements. The effects of these changes on minorities, women, and especially individuals to which both descriptors apply have often gone unnoticed. Many Jewish American women, who fit this description, turned to autobiography to record their experiences. Using a literary approach, this work addresses three Jewish American women writers and the plights and feats in their autobiographies. Mary Antin, an immigrant and pioneer for this canon, confronts difficulties such as intolerance and assimilation. Gertrude Stein, a prominent modernist avant-gardist, addresses the inescapable impact war can have on an individual. Golda Meir, former Israeli prime minister and activist, challenges a woman’s role and the political status quo. For a canon noted for its diversity, each woman records remarkably similar struggles across decades of change.

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Keywords
Gender studies., Jewish studies., American Jews., Jewish women writers., Autobiography., Literature.
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