解析库 > 2021年考满分GPO新题模考
Faced with the paucity of surviving texts by mid-eighteenth-century American women, historians interested in women's experience have proven resourceful at using nontextual sources. Recently, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has turned to objects hand-sewn by New England women, maintaining that objects such as sheets, pillowcases, and quilts reveal the "flow of common life" while providing a context for political events. Discerning the historical significance of these handmade objects is not easy, however. Between today and eighteenth-century New England there looms a formidable nineteenth-century mythology that romanticized that earlier, colonial era, with its houschold production system, as a simpler time of hard work and virtuous self-sufficiency. This myth emerged as compensation for the extreme wealth and poverty generated by industrialization. As household production declined, and factory-made, store-bought goods became widespread, antiquarians avidly collected and displayed the handmade objects of their idealized forebears. Attentive to the ideological distortions of nineteenth-century mythmaking, most historians are wary of trying to discern the original meaning of colonial objects, assuming that, nowadays, such objects reveal more about nineteenth-century collectors than about eighteenth-century users. By contrast, rather than disparaging the mythmakers, Ulrich thanks them for saving so many objects made and used by ordinary women.