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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay focuses on the emergence of women playwrights in the United States during the antebellum period. It analyzes the works of several women playwrights, including Anna Cora Mowatt, Elizabeth Crocker Bowers, and Charlotte Barnes Conner, and it highlights their tendency to avoid political themes except by implication of the cultural and social situation of women themselves. This essay identifies the persistent motif in the works of these women, which is the “powerless woman,” a figure that emerged in connection with the failure of feminism to take hold in American society in the 1790s.

Keywords: women playwrights, antebellum period, Anna Cora Mowatt, Elizabeth Crocker Bowers, Charlotte Barnes Conner, powerless woman, feminism

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