Stories of Female Initiation: Two 19th-Century Examples of Female Professional Success

Ina Bergmann


Stories of female initiation that lead to self-realization and independence have seldom been approached. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward’s "The Girl Who Could Not Write a Composition" (1871) and Sarah Orne Jewett’s "Farmer Finch" (1885) are discussed with regard to the causes of this neglect and the generalizing patterns of Elaine Ginsberg's "The Female Initiation Theme in American Fiction" (1975).

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