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Discussing “The Woman Question.” This discussion requires three posts using the options below.

Options for Posts

How to Post



Option 1: Topic Starter

Click “Create Thread” in discussion board.

Read the discussion prompts carefully and provide a response to one of the questions. Be sure your response answers the entire prompt, in detail, and be sure that you have proofread carefully. Provide textual support.

You can submit one topic starter per discussion.

Option 2: Challenge

Read a classmate’s post, and click “Reply.”

Respectfully challenge a classmate’s response. Explain your disagreement in detail and provide textual support.


Option 3: Agree and Add New

Read a classmate’s post, and click “Reply.”

Agree with a classmate’s post. Explain why, in detail, and add new information or evidence. Provide textual support.


  • Do not plagiarize. Use only your own words and ideas to analyze the texts. The only sources you should use are the works of literature themselves.
  • Use MLA format for citations.
  • Proofread your posts.
  • You will be posting 3 times. Your first post will be one of the options above; your second and third posts will respond to a classmate’s post using Options 2 and/or 3. You must write substantive response posts. This means you have to do more than say you agree, disagree, or compliment what your classmates have said.
  • Make sure to specify which topic you are responding to if you choose Option 1.
  • Review the grading rubric that will be used.

Discussion Topics for “The Woman Question:

1. Compare Sarah Stickney Ellis and John Riskin’s ideas about women’s roles in relation to men’s. What kind of education are women suited for? Are women equal to men in importance? How do these writers view domestic life?

2. The introduction to Coventry Patmore’s “Angel In the House” explains that early 20th century critics like Virginia Woolf criticized the poem “for the sentimentality of its ideal of woman and for the oppressive effects of this ideal on women’s lives.” Using specific examples from the poem, support Woolf’s claim.

3. Explain the problems of needing “something to do” and having “nothing to do” as discussed by Dinah Maria Mulock and Florence Nightingale.

4. Discuss the following observation made by Florence Nightingale: “Why have women passion, intellect, moral activity–these three–and a place in society where no one of the three can be exercised?”.

5. Do the ideas set forth in “The Great Social Evil” conflict with the views of womanhood set forth by Ruskin, Patmore, and Ellis? For example, the anonymous writer states that “virtue . . . is . . . the principle, the essence, which keeps watch and ward over the conduct . . . . No such principle ever kept watch and ward over me.”

6. Compare Mona Caird’s and John Ruskin’s views on marriage and comment on the significance of those views.

7. Comment on the significance of the ideas set forth in the excerpt from Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography.

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