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The Two Offers by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Transcript of The Two Offers by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
"The Two Offers"
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about Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Called "The Mother of African American Journalism
At age 20, she published her first book of poems "Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects".
Her short story, The Two Offers, was published in the Anglo-African Magazine in 1859. It was known to be the first short story published by an African American woman.
In 1860, she married Fenton Harper and in 1862, gave birth to a daughter, Mary.
Her experiences found way into her poetry, stories, essays and lectures; mostly focusing on abolitionism and womens' suffrage.
The story tells of two cousins, Laura and Janette, who are of different lives, one of privilege and one of poverty. They consider two offers: two offers of marriage extended to Laura or the risk of becoming an old maid. Laura gets married and finds out that married life isn't all that she thought it would be. Her husband is not committed to her and they don't have a connection. She haves a baby, but it dies. This is a even harder burden to bear. Ten years later, Laura is on her death bed with the thought that her husband will return to see her before she dies. Not wanting to bear the pain and agony she witnessed her cousin go through, Janette, eventually, becomes an old maid, deciding that she'd rather be alone than face the
realities of being married.
Morals of the Story
Being married DOES NOT dictate your circumstances!
Your happiness should not be fixated on a man/woman.
The story is actually a sermon on the important life choices made by young people, women in particular. The tale relates the tragedy of a woman who thinks romance and married love to be the only goal and center of her life.