Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

By Carmen Garsia

 

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was born in Mexico, in 1684. As a child she was hungry for knowledge. She would sneak away to follow her sisters to school and convince the teacher to give her reading leasons. But when her mother found out about her daughters lessons, she ended it. By the time Juana was six, she could read every book in her grandfather's library. When she was ten her grandfather died and she had to go live with her wealthy aunt and uncle. There they hired her a Latin teacher. In ten to eleven leesons, she knew everything he did. So she began to do her studying alone.

When Juana was a teenager , she was taken to meet the viceroy, Mexico' governer. His wife was very impressed by Juana. She asked her if she would stay and become a servant in their home. While she staied there she was given books to read from Spain and met important people at parties. She was also ask to write poetr, and plays that were performed.As the governor's reign came to an end, she was forced to choose her future.

Inthe seventeenth century, a women did not have much choices. They could get married or join a convent. juana could marry, but it would put an end to her education, so she joined the convent. The first convent she attended was a nightmare. It had minimal food, little sleep, and forced self-administered whipping. She soon left. Later, she had recovered, she was encouraged to take up religious life. Juana was told about another convent that had sernents and few responsibility.

In the convents she was not allowed to leave, but she was allowed to have visitors. Many important people came to visit her. She was Kown as a briliant women. She became very famous. She wrote many thing that went against the clergy. She was critizied for her writin

One of her most vocal critics was Francisco de Aguiar. He was a woman hater. He priase God for his nearsightedness because it kept him from seeing women. One day this bishop,Santa Cruz, asked Sor Juana to write an argument to Aguia, and she did.

Sor Juana wrote poetry also :

What Interest Have You, World, in Persecuting Me?

What interest have you, World, in persecuting me?
Wherein do I offend you, when all I want
Is to give beauty to my mind
And not my mind to beautiful things?

I do not care for goods or treasures;
and so am always more content
To endow my thoughts with riches
Rather than riches with my thoughts.

And I esteem not looks, which age
Takes away in civil stealth,
Nor am I impressed by wealth,

Holding that in truth 'tis better
To expend the vanities of life
Than to expend one's life in vanities.

 

 

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