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← Humanitarian InterventionThe Power of Five Senses →

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The social, cultural and political status and features during 1640-1680 in NE was under severe influence of colonial dominance there is an admixture of colonized civilization with the traditional follow ups maintained by the population of NE. it is hard to consider any rigid transformational entity in the areas of Maryland and Andover, Massachusetts. The readings of literary narratives developed in reference to the lifestyles of 17th century assist in deriving some of the basic phenomenal structures of these societies.

In this paper there is a comparative analysis between The Planter's Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-Century Maryland by Lois Green Carr and Lorena S. Walsh and Family Structure in Seventeeth-Century Andover, Massachusetts by Philip J. Greven, Jr. The paper looks into the common family lives and structures of people from these areas and the influential changes marked by them for a better life. The approach makes an investigative study of these texts to have a comprehensive outlook about the social, cultural and political thoughts followed by these people.

Comparative Analysis

On the basis of analytical readings of these texts, it has been discovered that the conditions of family lives and structures were no different on ethical and health related issues. Though there are several demographical and cultural differences, yet the family lives and structures were much under the pressure of traditional rituals and in-humanitarian practices. The societies of Maryland and Andover were very strict in maintaining discriminations against women. For people of both these areas it s more important to avail a married life than to support the wife for a healthy childbirth or later life. The conditions of women were described as ‘pathetic’ by Carr and Walsh (1977). They describe the status of post colonial dominance and the lack of medical and nursing facilities for the women of Maryland. This is the reason that most of the women die before they reach the age of 43. Added to this the research initiated by Greven (1983) there was a sense of negligence towards the conditions of women in the social structure of Andover. It has been discovered that the cases of births, marriages, deaths in reference to women were ignored by the male members of the society and there is hardly any importance given to women in the making of social or political decisions.

As against these discriminatory activities for women; these societies differed in terms of marriages. In the Seventeenth century of Maryland men seemed to be more desperate to get married. The idea was not for lifetime commitment but for sexual pleasures. They practices to hire women from female servant’s master. A man marries a slave woman and keeps her with him till he is satisfied. One the woman is free there remains no family for her. Her original husband could not accept her and she is left with three to four children from different men. On the other hand, Greven discovers a unique practice followed in Andover. Here he marked the specific transfer of deed from the old father to the young married son. In this trend the father does not allow his son to get married soon and often the marriages get delayed till the father expires.  According to Greven there was a strange practice of managing a ‘recurring pattern’. In this pattern the first generation fathers gets the opportunity to maintain huge amount of power in the family and the society. The preceding generation hardly gets a chance to expose his talents or decisive powers.  As a result the society of Andover soon got into the trend of “modified extended family system”. This is a system that later got identified as ‘nuclear families’. This is definitely a great transformation that developed the social and cultural conditions of Andover to more individualistic approaches and thereby the clashes between generations were diminished.  

The family lives and structures in both the societies were very complicated. However the difference that could be marked is regarding the mode to accept transformation. The people of Maryland were more rigid with their cultural and male-oriented practices, whereas the population of Andover was more likely to accept the developmental structures of social and cultural frameworks. There seemed to be more sense of independence among the people of Andover than Maryland and that is the basic influential difference between these demographically different locations. In both the societies there were sufferance related to poverty and illiteracy, however the amount of suppression seemed to be more in the social structure of Maryland than Andover.


From the analytical readings of The Planter's Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-Century Maryland by Lois Green Carr and Lorena S. Walsh and Family Structure in Seventeeth-Century Andover, Massachusetts by Philip J. Greven, Jr., it can be well established that though the people of these regions were much into their traditional follow ups, yet never denied to accept all those cultural transformations that support their ideologies. Contexts related to marriages and rituals are much developed during this period and as such there was enough room created for a modernistic approach to the social constructions of these societies in 17th century. Realizations for understanding the purpose of family got well groomed and people started offering value to the social bonds for a better lifestyles. It is here that the essence of multiculturalism can be well detected in the lives and cultures of these people ad thereby they can be considered as the root to the modern multicultural society of America.

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