Sor Juana’s Respuesta: A Look into Modesty and the Aftermath.
Abstract: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, named the first feminist of the New World, argues for women’s right to education in her letter, Repuesta de la poetisa a la muy ilustre Sor Filotea de la Cruz. In my study, I explore the agency and freedom found in Sor Juana’s use of modesty tropes, reconfiguring Patricia Pender’s reading of early modern women’s writing. Studying Sor Juana’s employment of modesty can allow us to view the literary power she achieved, though entrenched in a patriarchal and religious tradition. Furthermore, analyzing Sor Juana’s modesty tropes changes the perception of her last years alive. Although denoted as a silenced woman, coupling her refusal to give up secular studies with her tactics of modesty show us her resistance and lack of submission.
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