Aim and scope
The present paper is aimed at discussing and evaluating the book The Way of Duty written by Joy Day Buel and Richard Buel Jr. This book is really worth reading though it contains a great number of historical information and facts that can be considered boring for those people who are not interested in history. In this respect, it is necessary to assess the book in terms of its readability with regard to the themes covered and the way of presentation.
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The themes covered in the book include the ideas about the role of women and the American Revolution that greatly contributes to the overall image of a woman created in the book. As the book contains rather reputable information on the issue of the revolutionary America, it can be more interesting for people who specialize in history while it is not crammed with historic facts as all other history books.
Thesis of the book
The book focuses on the life of women and their families in the revolutionary America when the backup was provided by the keepers of the family hearth while all men were fighting for their interests, beliefs, and values claimed to be the key factors in successful progress of the country.
The thesis of this book can be described in the following expression that was aimed at describing the life of the main character: “Her life taught that a woman, no less than a man, could withstand adversity and even grow stronger by it” (Buel and Buel, p. 20).
The Way of Duty and Its Core Aspects
Authors supporting their arguments
Every argument finds it support in the book The Way of Duty by Joy Day Buel and Richard Buel Jr. though the authors managed to make the writing absolutely coherent and understandable for different audience.
For instance, the authors use a direct quote while introducing the main character of the story to the readers, “instructive and entertaining to my dear children, when the hand that writes can move no more” (Buel and Buel, p. 3); they apply this technique to inform the readers from the very beginning that the source is well-grounded and should be treated as this.
In other words, the book is of great value due to the effective combination of a great writing style and historical evidence used to support the authors’ arguments such as the great awakening, the American Revolution, and the role of women in contemporary America.
Sources used in the book
The sources used in the book are either used to support the arguments and provide some historical background for the information presented or to introduce direct quotes that are sometimes simplified in terms of grammar so that readers could easily understand the meaning of utterances dating from the eighteenth century.
The book became a good source of evidence and properly referenced information for other authors who managed to make their works more grounded and well-thought with the help of this book. For instance, Megan Hatfield used the book written by Buel and Buel as a supportive source of information while talking about the role of women and the characters described in The Way of Duty (pp. 21-33).
The fact that the book is well-grounded made it a widely used sources for reference and support for arguments used by authors of other history books about the revolutionary America and peculiar features of the life of women, health care, economy, and other issues.
This book was also actively used by Joan R. Gundersen who traced the role of women in America of revolutionary period and their support provided in different areas as well as traditions that were prevailing regardless of the political situation (Gundersen, p. 13). In this respect, the sources used by Buel and Buel in the process of writing were positively valued by other authors that write historic essays and books due to the number of times The Way of Duty was cited or used for referencing by other authors.
Evaluation of The Way of Duty
Argument. The argument used by the authors focuses on the role of women in the period of revolutionary America combined with other social and family identities.
Organization. The organization of the text is coherent due to the chronological approach used to tell the readers about the life of the main character, Mary Fish and events she saw in her life through the perspective of her position.
Writing Style. The writing style is marvelous as it allows the readers of different specialization read this book without paying much attention to the historical facts as this information contributes positively to the overall image of the book.
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Summary of discussion
The overall value of the book is really great because most books on history are dull while most readings about the role of women in society are feminist-oriented. This book enables the readers to learn more about the history of revolutionary America being, at the same time, a vivid story of a woman’s life with its hardships and joyous events. Though the book is more appropriate for the audience with some experience in reading historical texts, it appeared to be very interesting even for those who are of little knowledge in history.
The book is interesting and worth being read. It provokes thoughts about the role of women and their ability to have many identities without complaining of their destiny. While reading this book many things become apparent such as why women were treated as keepers of the home hearth and were actively involved in other areas.
Buel, Joy Day, and Richard Buel Jr. The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1984.
Gundersen, Joan R. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740-1790. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press Books, 2006
Hatfield, Megan. “What Have We Women to Do with These Matters?: Women and Femininity in Pre-Revolutionary America, 1763-1775”. Aegis (2008): 21-33. Print.