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Brenda Cuevas

Spa 151
Juan Tavarez
April 13, 2015
Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz
Going to college was the first time I got to learn about Sor Juana Ines De
La Cruz. The professor Ral Romero, a professor at CSU Dominguez Hills had us to
do an assignment about Sor Juana. We had to read a couple of poems and learn
from her background. Sor Juanas life is very interesting and her writing style is
very intellectual. She is many women and men inspiration to write and to learn
about. I choose to write about Sor Juana because I believe she is the beginning of
the fight for women rights.
Sor Juanas Life
Sor Juana was born on November 12th, 1651 in San Miguel Nepantla, New
Spain near Mexico City. She was born to a full Spanish father Pedro Manuel de
Asbaje and a Criolla mother Isabel Ramirez. Sor Juanas father was never in her
life. During this period of time, girls were not allowed to get educated. In the spite
of that Sor Juana, would sneak off to her grandfathers hacienda and read the
books in his library. Sor Juana learned to read and write Latin by age three. By age
thirteen, Sor Juana mastered Greek and Nahuatl (Aztec language).

Sor Juana was sent to Mexico City to study at a University in a male


disguise. She learned a lot and became very intellectual. One of her first poems
was about the Eucharist (Holy Bread), she composed this at age eight. Sor Juana
was able to compose many poems in her lifetime. Some of the famous poems that
Sor Juana wrote are Hombres Necios, La Respuesta, and Yo, La Peor de Todas.
Later, Sor Juana joined the Catholic Church convent and became a nun.
She had her own library with many intellectual and controversy books. The
other nuns, and priest did not want Sor Juana to keep reading or writing because
she, a woman should not be studying. Sor Juana began to question men and that
particular man did everything possible to take her library away. He succeeded his
purpose. However, Sor Juana was very good friends with the King and Queen of
Spain while they were living at the church. Sor Juana was protected by the King
and Queen. When the King and Queen had to go back to Spain, they took some of
Sor juanas poems to publish them in Spain. Later on, Sor Juana found out her
poems were published and she was very proud of herself. Unfortunately, Sor Juana
had to take care of many sick people and she got sick as well. Sor Juana did not live
a long life. She only lived to be forty-three years old. Today, Sor Juana is
considered the most important, intellectual, female poet in Latin America and in
Spain.

Feminist Perspective
According to Stephanie Merrim, Sor Juana sought to negate their
difference, to introject or appropriate the masculine realm for the feminine and to
place them on the same continuum. Merrim wrote this very suitably because it was
Sor Juana who started fighting for women rights. I doubt many women in this era
would have done what Sor Juana did. Sor Juana fought for her education and for
the love she had for poems and literature.
Merrim says, In writing such as her Respuesta and the Autodefensa

espiritual, Sor Juana militantly defends a womens right to education and, by


implication, participation in the male order. This is one the points that is very
important to me, and I am sure to many women. This point explains that Sor juana
went against society to get educated and fought for what she believed was right.
Doing this, Sor Juana became the first and most important woman writers in Latin
America and in Spain.
Sor Juanas Famous Poems
According to Theresa A. Yugar, which she studied the life of Sor Juana for
a period of twenty years says, El Sueo, one of Sor Juanas famous poems refers
to the conquest of the Spaniards to the New World. Yugar, also mentions that
from Sor Juana personal experiences of sexism and racism, she critiques the

patriarchal oppressive social systems. Sor Juana had a tough life and had to fight
obstacles along her side. Sor Juana sets an example of a strong woman that always
stood up for what she believed what is right.

Hombres Necios was one of Sor Juanas famous poems. The first line of this
peom is very blunt, Hombres necios que acusas a la mujer si razon, sin ver que sois
la ocasin de lo mismo que culpais. The poem refers to the sexism that women
were experiencing in this period of time and pointing out to the guilty men. Most of
the men did not like this poem because a woman should not question, respond, or
even critique a man.

La Respuesta is also another famous poem of Sor Juana. Sor Juana wrote
this letter to answer all of the recriminations that the Bishop of Puebla accused
Sor Juana of doing. The Bishop accused Sor Juana of being educated and learning
philosophy concepts. He said that no woman should be knowledgeable especially of
the philosophical concents. Therefore, Sor Juana wrote this letter to answer the
Bishop accusations.
Sor Juana is one of the few women that I admire. Sor Juana accomplished
many goals in her life, even though it was illegal. I can only imagine if Sor Juana
lived in this time where women can get an education without hiding and share their
knowledge with the world. She started the fight for womens rights and succeeded.

Bibliography