HARRIET BEECHER AND FLORA TRISTAN CONVERSATION 6
HarrietBeecher and Flora Tristan Conversation
HarrietBeecher and Flora Tristan Conversation
Beecher:good evening, madam
Tristan:good evening to you. How are you doing my dear?
Beecher:I am doing fine, thank you for your kind greetings. I am happy that Ihave met you
Tristan:you are welcome my dear. This is the main essence of women sharinglife together. We need to learn to appreciate and inspire each other.
Beecher:talking about inspiration, you are such a kind person you haveinspired so many people through your books in the United States.Please tell me more about your early life.
Tristan:my dear, I have grown to this strength because of the society. I wasborn on June 14,1811 in the United States in Litchfield,Connecticut (Gershon,1976).I grew in a family of thirteen siblings who taught me good moralsalongside my father.
Beecher:that is such a great thing, please tell me why you are so kind andkeep referring to me as my dear.
Beecher:My father was a religious leader and my mother was deeply religious,they taught me how to be kind. As Gershon(1976) writes, Ialso learnt to appreciate women, since I grew up without my mum, whodied when I was five years old
Tristan:I have learnt that as a lesson. How did you start activism?
Beecher:my father taught me to help people who are in situations of need, andit is in our family blood, my grandfather was a General in theRevolutionary war. I guess I took from him.
Tristan:.I get the source of your mental strength, (Silence). Now, my dear, mystory is similar to yours. I was born on 7thApril in Paris. My father was a Spanish army general, but my fatherdied just before I turned five years old. I understand how it feelsto lose a parent at a young age.
Beecher:my dear, these are the events that have shaped our lives. We can onlyteach others how to be strong.
Tristan:I get you, dear. I learnt to fight for the rights of women andexpress social issues following the events of the death of my father.Our standards of living fell and our relatives denied us what ourfather owned.
Beecher:You have a very good mind, and excellent pieces of literature. Mydear, how did you start writing?
Tristan:after the death of my father, mum took care of us. But in 1833, wewent back to Peru, our ancestral land, where we were deniedinheritance. From there I started writing diaries, for every tripthat I made. One of them was the Pérégrinationsd`une Paria thatrecords my experiences (Fedelma,2004).
Beecher:yes, I read it. It is such a great piece of literature. However, Ilove your writing on British labor conditions, how did you come towrite TheWorkers` Union? Howwas the experience?
Tristan:I travelled to Britain and experienced a lot of injustices in thesociety. As Fedelma(2004),says, I wrote the book as a reflection of the social conditions alongthe channel. Particularly, I wrote about the working conditions thatpeople faced at the time.
Beecher:the issues you addressed in the book are still applicable even todate. People are having problems in their workplaces and are beingexploited.
Tristan:I feel flattered because you are an icon of fighting for socialrights, working conditions and abolition of slavery. You are such astrong woman, how did you decide to fight the slavery giant
Beecher:thank you my dear. I fight the slave trade because it is wrong. It iswrong to treat other people in such inhumane ways, just because theyare of different skin color.
Tristan:I agree with you totally. Your literature is very insightful
Beecher:I wrote the books because I wanted to address an issue in thesociety. I am happy that the books I wrote have impacted on the livesof many people in the world.
Tristan:of all the books you have written, which is your favorite
Beecher:as an author, all your books are good and influential. However, whenI consider the time in history, my novel “UncleTom`s Cabin”which I wrote in 1852 is the most influential (Morgan,2007).According to Morgan(2007), thenovel has inspired several generations. I am proud of the civilrights activists who have been inspired by the book all over America.
Tristan:great, I feel that the roles we have played in the society, sets anexample for other women.
Beecher:very true my dear. The role of women in our time was to fight for therights of other women, and fight for the rights of people who arebeing oppressed. Just like you and I did.
Tristan:you are right. But I think the role has changed in current time. Whatdo you think is the role of women today?
Beecher:leadership, I think women should now engage in leadership positions,and lead nations.
Tristan:very true. I think they should continue with the fight for equalrights by taking a leadership role. That is how they can reward usfor the efforts we did.
Beecher:you are right. It is time for me to leave
Tristan:thank you for your time, my dear.
Fedelma,M.C. (2004). TheLetter in Flora Tristan`s Politics, 1835-1844, Basingstoke:Palgrave
Gershon,N. (1976). HarrietBeecher Stowe: Biography.New York: Henry Holt and Co,
Morgan,J. (2007). UncleTom`s Cabin As Visual Culture.University of Missouri Press